The National Rifle Association has far greater financial influence on Colorado’s delegation than pro-gun control groups, according to data maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics.
In direct contributions to candidates or political action committees established by candidates, called leadership PACs, the National Rifle Association has contributed more than $180,000 to Colorado’s current Republican leaders.
Rep. Mike Coffman (R ) has received $51,950 in contributions from gun rights groups, mainly the NRA since 2008, including $1,000 contribution already recorded for the 2018 – more than any other U.S. Congressman from Colorado, according to the data. Gun rights groups also contributed $42,254 to Rep. Scott Tipton, $30,823 to Rep. Ken Buck, $30,140 to Rep. Doug Lamborn and $27,226 to Sen. Cory Gardner.
However, campaign contributions do not provide the full scope of the NRA’s financial influence in this state, or the country.
The Center for Responsive Politics also tracks independent contributions – including those made by Political Action Committees (PAC) and for independent election communications, like political advertisements.
Sen. Cory Gardner is the 5th highest beneficiary of NRA spending in the country, once indirect and PAC spending is included. In all, the NRA has spent nearly $3.9 million in support of Sen. Gardner, or in opposition of his opponents.
Rep. Buck ranks next out of the Colorado delegation, at 19th overall, with $800,544 total (including indirect and PAC contributions). However, that total puts him at second-highest in total gifts in the House of Representatives.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, gun rights groups – overwhelmingly the NRA – spent more than $113 million since 2010 in outside spending. Gun control groups, primarily Americans for Responsible Solutions, spent $12.5 million during the same time period.
In total, gun control groups including The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and Americans for Responsible Solutions have contributed more than $18,000 to Democrats from Colorado – about one-tenth the amount the NRA spent on leaders from this state. That includes $6,800 to Rep. Ed Perlmutter, $6,250 to Rep. DeGette, $5,000 in contributions to Sen. Michael Bennet, and $500 to Rep. Jared Polis.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., was among members of the state’s congressional delegation who received money from the National Rifle Association. She did not. The Federal Election Commission mistakenly attributed a 2002 NRA contribution to a Political Action Committee established by DeGette. In fact, it went to a PAC controlled by then-U.S. Rep. George Radanovich, R-Calif., which had previously had the same name as DeGette’s PAC.