A federal lawÂ takes effect today that allows gun owners to tote their weapons within national parks, so long as they obey local laws. It’s a major victory for gun rights advocates, who argue gun owners should have had such rights decades ago. And it comes asÂ pro-gun forces spent more onÂ federal lobbying efforts in 2009 thanÂ in any year since 2002 — all told, nearly $5 million.Â They targeted at least some of that money at both the House and Senate versions of the “Preservation of the Second Amendment in National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges Act,” a Center for Responsive Politics analysis indicates. GunÂ control advocates, meanwhile, spentÂ a relative pittance in 2009Â on federal lobbying efforts — $180,000. Most of that came from a single organization:Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The decline in gun control advocates’ lobbying power is striking: In 2001, the special interest area spent more than $2.1 million on federal lobbying efforts.
And it’s worth nothing that it’s up to us to make sure NRA-PVF‘s coffers are full so they can keep up this pace of donation. There’s no rich patron keeping the money flowing, unlike with Bloomberg’s group. Sadly, the quickest way to influence in Washington is money.