In the last two decades, however, the deep-pocketed NRA has increasingly relied on the support of another constituency: the $12-billion-a-year made up of manufacturers and sellers of firearms, ammunition and related wares. That alliance was sealed in 2005, when Congress, after heavy NRA lobbying, approved a measure that gave gunmakers and gun distributors broad, and unprecedented, immunity from a wave of liability lawsuits related to gun violence in America’s cities.
According to a 2012 poll conducted by GOP pollster Frank Luntz for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, 74 percent of NRA members support mandatory background checks for all gun purchases, a position that the NRA has stridently opposed.
The questions about the NRA's ties to the gun industry, and whether those ties have influenced its agenda, have come to the forefront in the wake of horrific mass shootings last year in Connecticut, Colorado and Wisconsin.
A week after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults in a Newtown, Conn., school, Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's executive vice president and top lobbyist, gave a tense, combative performance at a press conference in which he signalled the organization wouldn't budge from its long-held opposition to most gun control measures.
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy last week proposed a bill that would ban new sales of new large ammunition clips that increase the lethality of weapons like those used in mass shootings in Connecticut, Colorado and Wisconsin.
A nationwide spike in gun and ammunition sales has caused shortages of tens of thousands of bullets across the country. US police departments are hastily sending out back-orders for more bullets and pushing back training exercises for their personnel.
“When you can’t get ammunition, it is very concerning,” Sandy Springs Police Chief Terry Sult tells to a TV reporter. “It affects our ability to be prepared. It affects the potential safety of the officers, because they’re not as proficient as they should be.”
The Sandy Springs Police Department is one among others that are facing short supplies of practice and duty ammunitions. Police officials expect it could be 6-8 months before their back-orders come in.
“We have to start planning and rationing,” Douglas County Chief Deputy Stan Copeland says.
Ammunition suppliers say the shortage is due to the high demand in gun and ammunition purchases in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Shortly after the tragedy Brownwell, the largest supplier of firearm ammunition in the world, admitted they had sold a several-years’ stock of ammunition in just a matter of hours.
Caroline Brewer, a spokeswoman for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, put the blame for the ammunition purchase hysteria on the National Rifle Association who advised to stockpile guns because Obama might issue a ban on guns.
The Department of Homeland Security recently warned there could be the treat of “substantial safety issues for the government”, a very real one, should law enforcement officials not be adequately armed.
Voice of Russia, RT, Huffington Post