Missouri senators got millions in donations from NRA, records show

Other area lawmakers received thousands in donations from the organization.
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 6:28 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- As memories of the 19 students and two teachers gunned down inside Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas bring calls for change, some Missouri and Illinois lawmakers hold tight connections to the National Rifle Association.

The nonprofit OpenSecrets.Org compiled Federal Election Commission data, showing money the NRA donated to all members of congress in their careers.

News 4 Investigates searched those records to see where local lawmakers rank.

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt (R) raked in $4,555,722 since 1996. He ranks 4th for highest contributions from the NRA. Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley (R) falls in at number 14 for donations from the NRA, getting $1,391,548. Hawley has only been in congress since 2018.

News 4 asked Hawley about these NRA donations. He would not give a direct answer.

“I think that the solution to it is to protect the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens and to punish the criminals and to send a message of deterrence to those that would think about committing these crimes moving forward.”

Hawley addressed what happened in Uvalde saying he knows the 18-year-old shooter passed background checks when he purchased assault rifles.

“He lawfully had the firearms that he had and you know that’s terrible which I why I think as prosecutor I’d like to put these people away for life,” Hawley added.

Missouri representatives in Congress fall lower on the NRA’s donation list. Rep. Ann Wagner (R) received $11,520 since 2012 and Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R) received $45,509 since 2008.

Democratic Rep. Cori Bush’s donation ranking is $0. The day of the school shooting the Congresswoman tweeted, “our work is in saving lives, but the Senate’s inaction is failing.”

In Illinois the NRA is spending money against both Democratic senators.

As far as the three representatives in Congress representing the metro east, Rep. Rodney Davis (R) tops them receiving $67,509 since 2012. Davis is the 53rd largest congressional recipient of NRA money.

“As a parent to three children in college and a first-hand victim of gun violence, what happened in Texas breaks my heart. It’s pure evil, plain and simple. We should all take a moment and pray for comfort and peace for the victims, their families, and the Uvalde community.

Davis sent a statement to News 4 for this story:

“We have a sickness in this country – a growing disrespect and disregard for human life which contributes to terrible tragedies like this. It’s on all of us to promote a culture and respect for life, through our laws and through our personal actions.

“It’s unfortunate that many are using this opportunity to score political points and push for more limits and restrictions on our Second Amendment rights. That is wrong. Taking guns away from law-abiding citizens will not stop gun violence from happening.

“Some Democrats, including Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch, have proposed replacing school resource officers with therapists. That is terribly misguided and not what we should do. Emphasizing so-called violence interruption social work over or instead of policing is unproven and potentially dangerous.

“We should be giving schools the resources and flexibility to harden their facilities and make security investments, including armed officers, if they deem them necessary. We should also be doing more to address the mental health crisis our country faces. We can also encourage the safe storage of firearms through education and tax incentives for gun locks or safes to make sure guns don’t get in the hands of criminals or people who don’t know how to use them.

“We can protect our Second Amendment rights and also take action to reduce gun violence, but Democrats in Springfield and Washington are wrongly focused on taking guns away more than anything else on this issue.”

Illinois Rep. Mike Bost (R) received $46,580 since 2014. Meanwhile Rep. Mary Miller (R) received $2,000 since 2020.

The day after the shooting Miller released a statement saying she’s, “praying for the Lord to comfort and guide the entire Uvalde community.” Miller went on to write “I will continue to support the Second Amendment rights of my constituents in Illinois to defend their homes and their families.”