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NRA: long on bullets, short on bucks

Dec. 21, 2003 at 9:40 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Costly legal, legislative and political battles during the last decade have left the National Rifle Association with a $100 million deficit.

The New York Times reported Sunday that records of the Internal Reveue Service show the NRA has spent more than it has received for at least 10 years.

The Times noted that during the past decade, the group's efforts have helped Republicans win the White House and Congress and led to laws in more than 30 states banning lawsuits against gun manufacturers.

Even in 2000, when gun owners helped elect George W. Bush as president and pushed NRA membership to a 10-year high, expenses outstripped revenues by $20.4 million, according to IRA filings.

Further evidence of the NRA's money woes came in a recent issue of the group's magazine, America's 1st Freedom.

"The victories we have delivered have been costly, cutting deeply into the NRA's budgets," Wayne LaPierre Jr., the group's executive vice president and chief executive, wrote. "Today, if we were faced with a full-blown legislative assault, we simply would not have the war chest."

The NRA has a current membership of about 3.4 million.

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