Gun control groups far out-spending gun rights groups for 2018 midterms—first time in 20-plus years

Chris Field

Gun control groups are significantly outspending gun rights groups on the 2018 midterm elections so far, according to FEC data compiled by Reuters.

What’s going on?

For the first time in at least 20 years, Reuters reported, the anti-gun crowd has outspent pro-gun advocates for federal races.

The most recent FEC filings for the midterms reveal that gun control advocates have outspent pro-Second Amendment groups by more than 40 percent.

The data show that gun control groups have shelled out $20.2 million, which dwarfs the $14.1 million spent by pro-gun groups.

Liberal billionaire, rabid anti-gun activist, and possible 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is leading the charge, according to Reuters.

Bloomberg is the sugar daddy behind many anti-gun causes, including Everytown for Gun Safety, which has spent $3.6 million on the 2018 federal election. According to Reuters, the rest of the group’s $20 million budget has been spent on state races.

The anti-gun group Giffords, which was founded by shooting survivor and former Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords during the 2014 election cycle, has spent $16.3 million so far for the 2018 midterms, FEC records show.

Pro-gun spending could still catch up, Reuters noted. The NRA has provided about 85 percent of the spending so far, with much of the money backing Republicans. As of the most recent FEC report, the NRA’s Political Victory Fund still had $8.9 million on hand.

What’s the history?

As Reuters noted, for at least the last 20 years, pro-gun organizations have far outspent gun control groups in federal elections. In 2016, pro-gun groups spent $73.25 million, compared to $180,000 by anti-gun groups.

Here’s how the spending has compared since the 1998 federal election cycles, according to Reuters:

2018 (so far)
● Gun control groups: $20.2 million
● Gun rights groups: $14.1 million

2016
● Gun control groups: $180,000
● Gun rights groups: $73.25 million

2014
● Gun control groups: $340,000
● Gun rights groups: $54.8 million

2012
● Gun control groups: $180,000
● Gun rights groups: $26.15 million

2010
● Gun control groups: $10,000
● Gun rights groups: $16.06 million

2008
● Gun control groups: $250,000
● Gun rights groups: $17.87 million

2006
● Gun control groups: $80,000
● Gun rights groups: $11.95 million

2004
● Gun control groups: $170,000
● Gun rights groups: $14.39 million

2002
● Gun control groups: $260,000
● Gun rights groups: $11.85 million

2000
● Gun control groups: $1.66 million
● Gun rights groups: $19.35 million

1998
● Gun control groups: $180,000
● Gun rights groups: $9.25 million