The National Rifle Association has injected itself into areas of American life that go way beyond the mere use of guns. For example, laws about appliance safety apply to everything from toys to toasters, but not to guns.
The NRA also has used its political muscle in state capitols — where its lobbyists and members have successfully pushed laws that allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons into parks, bars and churches, have sought to restrict the ability of doctors to talk to patients about gun safety and fought increased fees for background checks…
In the last decade alone, the NRA has spent $21 million to lobby Congress and federal agencies — 10 times the amount spent by one of the nation’s best-known gun-control groups, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, during the same period.
Here’s an example of its success at gaining influence:
A measure, inserted into a 2009 credit-card regulation bill, that ended a 25-year ban on carrying concealed and loaded guns into national parks. Supporters said the change was needed to address a patchwork of state and federal firearms regulators that made it hard for gun owners to travel between state and federal lands.