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.

What We’re Seeking:

  • Records from Florida’s Attorney General and Governor offices containing communications, calendar entries, and talking points following the Parkland shooting — specifically communications with the NRA, Gun Owners of America, and the Second Amendment Foundation
  • Records from the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) seeking communications following shootings in Nevada, Texas, California, and Florida
  • Communications between gun industry groups and state government officials in Texas, California, and Nevada in the immediate aftermath of the mass shooting events that occurred in those states in late 2017

Background:

On October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire on a concert in Las Vegas killing fifty-eight people and injuring more than five hundred. Then, on November 5, another shooter killed twenty-six people worshipping at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. On November 14, yet another man killed at least four at a California elementary school and other locations around Rancho Tehama, leaving at least ten additional people injured.

The shootings have continued in 2018. Most recently, on February 14, a nineteen-year-old killed seventeen people after entering a Parkland, Florida, high school with a semiautomatic rifle. This event once again sparked a national debate regarding the need to change gun laws and the role that the gun lobby plays in thwarting any policy change.

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

Related Documents

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

NRR 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 Office of the Attorney General
Agency Reply
April 3, 2018

FOIA to the Florida Attorney General Seeking Communications with Gun Lobbyists

Florida Office of the 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 Office of the 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 Office of the 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 14, 2017

NRR From the California Office of the Governor Seeking Gun Violence Communications

Agency Reply
November 28, 2017

Exempt Response From FBI Regading Gun Violence

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

Nevada Public Information Request Regarding Recent Shootings

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