A new report by the National Institute on Money in State Politics found that Washington state candidates led the country in National Rifle Association contributions in the 2012 election cycle.
The NRA contributed $68,300 to Washington state candidates during the election, according to the Helena, Mont.-based non-profit. Another anti-gun-control group, the Gun Owners Action League of Washington, gave $106,175 to candidates and committees during the same period. It’s the most money given by gun-control opponents in Washington in the past 12 years.
Overall, the NRA gave to more than 500 candidates and 21 political party committees in 37 states, with 87 percent going to Republicans during the 2011-2012 state-level elections, according to the group.
Gun control advocates tried, and failed, to pass a series of bills in the Washington state Legislature this past session, including a high-profile effort to expand background checks for firearms sales.
The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility subsequently filed an initiative that would require criminal-background checks for almost all firearm sales and transfers.
Supporters will need to collect 246,000 valid signatures by January for the initiative to go to the Legislature next year. If lawmakers do not accept it, it will go to the ballot in November 2014.