Gun Lobby Influence On Responses to Mass Shootings

Following several mass shootings in the U.S. and the ensuing political debate, American Oversight is investigating state and federal responses to gun-related tragedies. Government officials frequently claim they will take concrete, legislative action to address gun violence, but little or nothing ever actually happens. And while gun industry groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA) appear to go silent online, documents show they continue to lobby elected officials behind the scenes.

Background:

On October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire on a concert in Las Vegas, killing 58 people and injuring more than 500. Then, on November 5 of that year, another shooter killed 26 people worshipping at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. A week later, another man killed at least four at a California elementary school and other locations around Rancho Tehama, leaving at least 10 people injured.

The shootings have continued in 2018 and 2019. On February 14, 2018, a 19-year-old killed 17 people with a semiautomatic rifle at a Parkland, Florida, high school. Most recently, on August 3, 2019, 22 people were killed in a racially motivated shooting in an El Paso Walmart. These events continue to spark a national debate about the need to change gun laws and the role the gun lobby plays in thwarting any policy change.

While politicians continue to offer their “thoughts and prayers,” American Oversight is seeking to shed light on what steps — if any — state and federal officials are taking to address gun violence in the wake of recent tragedies and to expose how the gun lobby and organizations like the National Rifle Association are influencing policy behind closed doors.

Related Documents

June 4, 2020

FOIA to OMB Seeking Former Deputy General Counsel Williams’ Communications with Gun Rights Activists

Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request
March 12, 2020

OMB Calendar Invites and Agenda for Calls Regarding the Parkland Shooting

Office of Management and Budget
Agency Record
September 27, 2019

No Records Response from HHS Regarding Communications Between SAMHSA Officials and the NRA

Department of Health and Human Services
Agency Reply
September 23, 2019

FOIA to OMB Seeking Communications Between Michael Williams and Gun Rights Advocates

Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Request
September 18, 2019

Request for Communications Between High-Ranking NIH Officials and the NRA

Department of Health and Human Services, HHS - National Institutes of Health
FOIA Request
September 16, 2019

Request for Communications Between High-Ranking HHS Officials and the NRA

Department of Health and Human Services
FOIA Request
September 16, 2019

Request for Communications Between High-Ranking ACF Officials and the NRA

Department of Health and Human Services, HHS - Administration for Children and Families
FOIA Request
September 16, 2019

Request to HHS for Communications Between High-Ranking SAMHSA Officials and the NRA

Department of Health and Human Services, HHS - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
FOIA Request
June 7, 2019

SBA Communications with the NRA Regarding a Women’s Leadership Forum

Small Business Administration
Agency Record
May 30, 2019

FOIA to DOI Seeking Communications with the National Rifle Association

Department of the Interior
FOIA Request
May 30, 2019

FOIA to DOJ Seeking Communications with the National Rifle Association

Department of Justice
FOIA Request
May 30, 2019

FOIA to ED Seeking Communications with the National Rifle Association

Department of Education
FOIA Request
May 30, 2019

FOIA to SBA Seeking Communications with the National Rifle Association

Small Business Administration
FOIA Request
August 16, 2018

Maryland Governor’s Office Records Regarding Gun Lobby Influence

Agency Record
July 9, 2018

FOIA to Maryland Office of the Governor Regarding Gun Lobby Influence

Maryland Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
June 8, 2018

NRA and Texas State Rifle Association Communications With Governor’s Office After Santa Fe Shooting

Texas Office of the Governor
Agency Record
May 25, 2018

No Records Response From FL Governor for Requests With NRA Affiliated People

Florida Office of the Governor
Agency Reply
May 25, 2018

FOIA to Texas Office of the Governor Regarding Outside Influence on Efforts to Address Gun Violence

Texas Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
April 6, 2018

No Records Response Regarding Florida Gun Communications

Florida Attorney General
Agency Reply
April 3, 2018

FOIA to the Florida Attorney General Seeking Communications with Gun Lobbyists

Florida Attorney General
FOIA Request
March 30, 2018

FOIA to the Florida Office of the Governor Seeking Communications with Gun Lobbyists

Florida Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
March 8, 2018

Florida Attorney General NRR Regarding Gun Lobby Communications

Florida Attorney General
Agency Reply
March 2, 2018

Florida Governor NRR Regarding Gun Lobby Communications

Florida Office of the Governor
Agency Reply
February 22, 2018

FOIA to Florida Office of the Governor Regarding Gun Violence

Florida Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
February 22, 2018

FOIA to Florida Attorney General Regarding Gun Violence

Florida Attorney General
FOIA Request
February 22, 2018

FOIA to DOJ Seeking Communications Related to Recent Shootings

Department of Justice
FOIA Request
February 6, 2018

Texas NRA Communications Records

Texas Office of the Governor
Agency Record
January 8, 2018

Records From Nevada Office of the Governor

Nevada Office of the Governor
Agency Record
December 19, 2017

No Records Response from the FBI Regarding Gun Control

DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation
Agency Reply
December 14, 2017

No Records Response From the California Office of the Governor Regarding Gun Violence Communications

Agency Reply
November 28, 2017

Exempt Response From FBI Regading Gun Violence

Department of Justice, DOJ - Federal Bureau of Investigation
Agency Record
November 27, 2017

Nevada Public Information Request Regarding Recent Shootings

Nevada Office of the Governor
FOIA Request
November 27, 2017

Public Information Request Seeking California Office of the Governor Steps Regarding Gun Violence

FOIA Request
November 27, 2017

Texas Public Information Request to Texas Office of the Governor Regarding Gun Violence

FOIA Request