Contrary to the grassroots image that anti-gun groups try to portray, their funding continues to come from large donations by billionaires who are driving an anti-gun agenda. Perhaps the worst examples of this trend can be found in Nevada and Maine where voters will consider gun control ballot initiatives this November.
In each state, nearly identical ballot language seeks to require every firearm transfer be processed through a federally licensed firearm dealer. While supporters claim these measures target criminals, these initiatives will generally only burden lawful gun owners because criminals simply bypass background checks through theft, the black-market, or the use of “straw purchasers.”
In Nevada, the group Nevadans for Background Checks is funded almost solely by large donations. As previously reported by the Las Vegas Sun, for 2014 and 2015, $2.9 million of the $3.6 million that Nevadans for Background Checks received came from Everytown for Gun Safety. Everytown is, of course, the main front-group of anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg.
Nevadans for Background Checks recently filed their first report of 2016, and their contributions continue to come from Everytown or other large donors. Of the $817,077 that the group has received in 2016, over two-thirds came directly from Everytown.
In Maine, the sums are smaller, but the lack of grassroots support is even clearer. Maine Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense Fund, the group behind the Maine initiative, reported total contributions of $262,363 with $229,160 contributed by Everytown, nearly 90 percent of the contributions made in support the initiative. Obviously, Michael Bloomberg is pulling the strings on both initiatives.
On the other hand, opposition to these initiatives will not come in the form of large donations from a few oligarchs. Instead, NRA will continue to rely on its millions of members and large volunteer network to stop these anti-gun initiatives.