The National Rifle Association announced on Thursday that Friends of NRA, a grassroots fundraising program, had raised $51 million in 2013, exceeding the total amount raised 2012 by $1 million.
“The program’s growth has been even throughout the country, with average net per event rising $11,000 to nearly $41,000,” the NRA said in a statement. “Year-end forecasts have Friends of NRA generating at least $65 million, a 30 percent increase over 2012.”
Friends of NRA holds banquets across the country to raise money for the NRA Foundation, which supports sport-shooting programs. The grassroots operation has only completed 80 percent of its fundraising events to date.
“Funds raised by Friends of NRA protect our shooting heritage by supporting youth education, firearm training, range development, conservation efforts, and so much more,” said John da Silva, National Manager of Events and Marketing, in a statement. “From hunters, to competitive shooters, to those who are just proud gun owners, Friends of NRA ensures that all can enjoy the shooting sports for a very long time.”
Despite an enormous push for gun control from Democrats and President Barack Obama, gun rights supporters continue to hold their ground. Two pro-gun control Democrats were ousted in Colorado during a historic recall election, and gun permit requests doubled in Newtown, Conn., after a deadly elementary school shooting.