Political leanings: Conservative/Gun Rights
Spending target: Unknown
The NRA has a political action committee — the National Rifle Association of America Political Victory Fund, or NRA-PVF — registered with the Federal Election Commission. As a PAC, the NRA-PVF is subject to spending and contribution limits. It can contribute up to $5,000 per election ($10,000 per campaign cycle) to a federal candidate, and it can accept no more than $5,000 per year from each individual donor.
However, the NRA paid nearly $5.5 million of the PAC’s “fundraising and administrative expenses” in 2016, according to the NRA’s 2016 990 IRS form. As a nonprofit, the NRA does not have to disclose its donors.
In 2016, the NRA-PVF spent more than $22 million — mostly on independent expenditures, such as TV ads that call for the victory or defeat of specific candidates. It made $19.2 million in independent expenditures in 2016, FEC records show. That included nearly $7.5 million against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and about $1.9 million in support of her opponent, Donald Trump, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The NRA-PVF also made more than $1 million in contributions to party committees and federal candidates.
The NRA also makes independent expenditures through its lobbying arm, the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, or NRA-ILA, which is not required to disclose donors.
In 2016, the NRA-ILA made $33.3 million in independent expenditures — including $12.3 million against Clinton and $8.8 million for Trump, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.
The NRA-PVF and NRA-ILA spent a combined $54.4 million on independent expenditures and other political communications in the 2016 election cycle — three times more than they did during the previous presidential campaign in 2012.
As of May 21, the NRA-PVF has spent more than $1.5 million in independent expenditures, with $1.1 million in support of Luther Strange’s unsuccessful Senate campaign last year in Alabama. The PAC also has contributed more than $220,000 to federal candidates, 97 percent of whom are Republican. The NRA’s lobbying arm has yet to make any independent expenditures.