This spring, the National Rifle Association (NRA) set up an independent spending committee here in Washington to persuade voters to reject Initiative 594, which would expand gun purchase background checks to private sales and transfers. Gun rights advocates, including the NRA, have argued that if the proposal became law it could criminalize ordinary gun owners.
But in its quest, the NRA seems to be overlooking Washington state law.
The NRA has filed at least five campaign fundraising updates late, according to state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) documents.
Starting in June of an election year, campaigns must file reports for any donations by the following Monday after they are received.
One $150,000 donation, for instance, was made Sept. 16 but not reported to the PDC until Oct. 14 — nearly a month later. The NRA’s money has gone toward producing web advertisements, printing flyers and banners, and paying staff, according to campaign filings.
All told, the filings involve about $350,000 of the $486,000 that Washingtonians Opposed to I-594 has received.
Lori Anderson, communications director for the state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC), confirmed that the five filings were late. But Anderson said the PDC isn’t likely to take any action on its own.
“I think it’s more likely that we’re going to receive a complaint,” she said.
We reached out to the NRA this morning for an explanation; they haven’t yet responded. If they do, we’ll update. The two latest filings by the NRA have been on time, according to the filings.
A complaint has also been filed to the PDC against the NRA for having not disclosed its spending. That complaint is still under review, according to the PDC.