Gun lobbyists raised record funds following last December's school shooting in Newtown, Conn., according to Federal Election Commission disclosures.
After the bill calling for the expansion of background checks for gun purchases was shot down by the Senate Wednesday, President Obama appeared in the Rose Garden with Sandy Hook families.
"All in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington," Obama said.
The National Rifle Association raised $2.7 million in January and February for its political action committee, a 350 percent increase compared to the same period after the last mid-term elections, The Guardian reported.
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The president blamed senators being lobbied for swaying other senators from supporting the bill, which he says "represented moderation and common sense."
"But instead of supporting this compromise, the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill," Obama said. "They claimed that it would create some sort of 'big brother' gun registry, even though the bill did the opposite. This legislation, in fact, outlawed any registry. Plain and simple, right there in the text. But that didn't matter."
NRA membership reportedly grew by 250,000 just a month after the Newtown shooting. Now there are 4.25 million NRA members. “These senators have heard from their constituents — who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks. And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them,” former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords wrote in the New York Times Wednesday.
“These senators made their decision based on political fear and on cold calculations about the money of special interests like the National Rifle Association, which in the last election cycle spent around $25 million on contributions, lobbying and outside spending,” Giffords wrote.
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The NRA’s chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, called the bill “misguided.”
"This amendment would have criminalized certain private transfers of firearms between honest citizens, requiring lifelong friends, neighbors and some family members to get federal government permission to exercise a fundamental right or face prosecution," Cox said in a statement after the vote.
However the bill made an exception for people-to-people gun sales.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., who drafted the compromise with Republican Sen. Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania, claimed the NRA was lying to the public.
Manchin said the NRA's assertions are "a lie. That is simply a lie, and anybody who can read knows that is not factual.”
"The American people are on alert and paying attention," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
"It's not over,” Reid assured the Sandy Hook families.