Special Report

House Representatives Who Do the Most to Help the American Gun Industry

Gun control advocates were dealt a blow in June, when the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court struck down a New York law that placed strict restrictions on carrying concealed firearms. According to the new ruling, law-abiding citizens have a constitutional right to carry concealed weapons in public, a decision that threatens gun restrictions in several states.

The ruling comes as gun advocates have succeeded for years in blocking federal gun control laws, such as bans on certain semiautomatic rifles and high-capacity magazines. Those who are pro guns have been successful in promoting lawmakers who advocate for fewer gun control measures.

To identify the House representatives who do the most to help the gun industry, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the National Shooting Sports Foundation 2022 Congressional Report Card, which assigned each member of Congress with a grade based on their support of gun legislation, opposition to NSSF-opposed legislation, and work in Congress to further the goals of the gun lobby. Here we listed the 44 House representatives with an A+ rating from the NSSF who received donations from the gun lobby of $5,000 or greater. 

The NSSF, a Newtown, Connecticut-based firearms trade association, has given an A+ rating to 117 House representatives. This means 27% of all House representatives have the highest possible rating for their legislative work on behalf of the firearms industry lobby and absolutist interpretations of the Second Amendment. 

The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world with a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and subsequently is a global outlier in gun proliferation and gun violence. Though the interpretation of the Second Amendment has been a subject of perennial debate, it seems that the absolutists are winning. (Here are states where people buy the most guns.)

The number of House representatives from each state is proportioned based on the population of the state, but the share of representatives from each state that get the highest marks for their advocacy of gun proliferation does not always correlate with population size. 

California has the highest number of House representatives, 53, but only three of its lawmakers have an A+ rating from the NSSF: Republican Reps. Ken Calvert, Darrell Issa, and Kevin McCarthy. Texas, the second most populous state, has 36 representatives, and 10 of them get the highest marks from the NSSF. 

At least a third of the representatives have A+ ratings in 22 states, including the following states with populations higher than 10 million residents: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina. (This is the year lobbyists influenced government policy the most since 2008.)

Here are the House representatives that do the most to help the gun industry.

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