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See how the NRA and other gun rights groups have spent money on political campaigns in recent years

Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association.Joe Raedle/Getty

The National Rifle Association declared bankruptcy last year as it faced allegations that its executives used tens of millions of dollars for personal expenditures and otherwise mismanaged money. But that hasn’t stopped the gun rights organization from funding the campaigns of political candidates.

Since 2010, the NRA has spent more than $148 million on federal elections, nearly all of which has gone toward supporting Republican candidates in one way or another. About $91 million was spent trying to defeat candidates, according to OpenSecrets, a campaign finance watchdog. Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was the biggest target of NRA spending in the last 12 years, with $19.8 million being earmarked to defeat her. She was followed by President Biden at $12 million and former president Barack Obama at $10 million.


The NRA also spent $56 million in support of candidates, with the biggest amounts being spent to support Republican presidential nominees, according to the data. Former president Donald Trump was overwhelmingly the top beneficiary, with about $16 million in outside spending going to support his candidacies, followed by Senator and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at $3.3 million, Senator Thom Tillis at $2.4 million, and Senator Tom Cotton at $2 million.

Though the NRA is the highest profile gun rights organization in the US, there’s no shortage of groups that raise and spend money to prevent gun control legislation from being enacted. OpenSecrets has compiled a list of top recipients of gun rights interest group money since 2010. Republican Senator Rand Paul currently leads the pack with more than $38,000 in political contributions this year alone.

In recent years, spending from organizations supporting gun control has also ramped up. Here’s a look at the candidates who have received the most contributions from gun control efforts, according to OpenSecrets.


Sarah Ryley of the Globe staff contributed reporting.

John Hancock can be reached at john.hancock@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Hancock_JohnD. Christina Prignano can be reached at christina.prignano@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano.