KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — After Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order meant to strengthen gun restrictions and urged state lawmakers to consider stronger gun restrictions, viewers reached out to WBIR with questions about how much money East Tennessee politicians receive from the National Rifle Association.
The NRA is a group that advocates against gun restrictions across the U.S. According to OpenSecrets, a nonprofit research group that tracks money in U.S. politics, Senator Mitt Romney (R - Utah) collected the most money from the NRA over his career — more than $13.6 million.
Senator Marsha Blackburn (R - Tennessee) ranked 12th on the list, collecting around a total of $1.3 million from the NRA during her career. The NRA also endorsed her in 2018. Overall, she raised around $11 million for her campaign, which means NRA funds make up around 12% of the total money she raised.
She voted against the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in June 2022, which expanded mental services and increased background check requirements for people under 21 years old to buy or sell guns. The bill was later signed into law.
Senator Bill Hagerty (R - Tennessee) ranked 42nd on the list, collecting a total of $15,826 from the NRA. He also raised around $11 million in his 2020 race for the office.
Representative Chuck Fleischmann (R - Tennessee) received $15,842 from the NRA since his first race in 2010 and is ranked 106th on OpenSecrets' list. In total, he raised around $8.7 million for his campaign.
Representative Tim Burchett (R - Tennessee) received $4,845 from the NRA, which placed him at 169th place on the list. In his three races since 2018, he raised around $3.8 million in total.