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Fear of Gun Control Laws Might Help Replenish the NRA’s Coffers

New measures from a Democratic House could fuel a surge in membership.

Members of the National Rifle Association hold hands during an opening prayer at the group’s annual meeting in Dallas on May 5, 2018.

Members of the National Rifle Association hold hands during an opening prayer at the group’s annual meeting in Dallas on May 5, 2018.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

The National Rifle Association may be about to reap a bounty from an unlikely source: congressional Democrats.

If history is any guide, a Democratic push for gun control measures once the party assumes control of the House of Representatives in January would send money pouring into the NRA’s coffers before the 2020 election. “They’re going to be growing when their issue is under threat,” says Richard Feldman, a former NRA lobbyist who supports gun rights but has been critical of the organization. Democratic control of the House produces that kind of threat.