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Georgia Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond to Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Rep. Doug Collins’ Squabble Over Who is Biggest Gun Extremist

September 3, 2020

ATLANTA — The Georgia chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, today responded to Georgia Republicans Senator Kelly Loeffler (A) and Rep. Doug Collins’ (A+) recent NRA ratings.

“While Sen. Loeffler and Rep. Collins fight for the NRA’s adoration and compete to be the most extreme candidate, over 1,500 Georgians are dying every year from gun violence,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “We won’t let Georgia voters forget these candidates’ race to the bottom. Come Election Day, voters won’t reward them for their radical positions against gun safety.”

“Sen. Loeffler and Rep. Collins are busy catering to the NRA and gun fanatics at the far wings of the Republican Party instead of keeping Georgians safe.” said Courtney Spriggs, a volunteer with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “That’s why we’ll be working day-in, day-out to remind voters of their extremism come Election Day.” 

The NRA is deeply out of touch with Georgia voters when it comes to gun safety. A May survey of voters in 13 battleground states including Georgia showed that gun safety-themed messages were among the most impactful at moving voters’ support to Joe Biden, and that messaging focused on the impacts of COVID-19 on America’s gun violence crisis was the second most effective overall at shifting support to Biden. The gun violence epidemic in Georgia is devastating, with more than 1,500 people in Georgia dying every year from gun violence. More information on gun violence in Georgia is available here.

This NRA is releasing these grades at a time when it is already mired in immense turmoil. Today, a new report by the New York Times revealed that Josh Powell –– NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre’s former chief of staff and the NRA’s former “second-in-command” –– will slam the NRA in an upcoming tell-all book for failing to support background checks and red flag laws, both of which are supported by an overwhelming majority of gun owners.  Additionally, the NRA faces tremendous legal, financial, and internal difficulties: 

  • Legal: Earlier this summer, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed suit seeking to dissolve the NRA for violating New York charities law. On the same day, DC Attorney General Karl Racine sued the NRA for allegedly exerting undue influence over the NRA Foundation. Additionally, the NRA was recently hit with a class action lawsuit, and it was already facing charges by New York State’s Department of Financial Services, and locked in various lawsuits with former business partner Ackerman McQueen. As a result of these legal troubles, the Trace reported allegations that the NRA paid its top lawyer an estimated $54 million in the last two years alone.  
  • Financial: The NRA is $57 million in debt, recently reportedly laid off and furloughed over 200 employees, and in 2019, its revenue from member dues declined by 34% while its “legal, audit, and tax costs” increased by 39%. Additionally, earlier this year, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said that the NRA suffered “about a $100 million hit” in 2018 and 2019, and that for the NRA “to survive,” he took “about $80 million” out of the budget. This follows years of alleged financial mismanagement, during which NRA executive pay has skyrocketed, money has flowed to “unpaid” board members, and the NRA’s own board members and accountants have called into question lavish, legally suspect personal spending by its leadership.
  • Internal: Experts believe that Wayne LaPierre’s removal is “a foregone conclusion” due to the NRA’s legal troubles. Additionally, according to The Guardian, the NRA’s “drop in revenues accelerated in 2019 when several large NRA donors began a drive to oust LaPierre over allegations of mismanagement and self-dealing, and to promote reforms.” These donors have boasted that “$165 million in donations and planned gifts had been withheld.”

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