The NRA's political action committee, the National Rifle Association of America Political Victory Fund (PVF), hauled in $200,000 more in August than it did throughout July, its filings show. The PAC reported $939,951.27 in total contributions with an overwhelming majority of this amount—$751,114.61—making its way from small-dollar donors who gave $200 or less.
The amount the PAC collected in August is down $528,000 from the same time in 2018—not unusual given 2018 was an election year and 2019 is not. As with most political action committees, the NRA PVF tends to collect more money during election years. In August 2017, the last off year and a more even monthly comparison, the NRA's PAC received $767,934.59, which is $172,016.68 less than they took in last month.
From the beginning of January to the end of August, the NRA's PAC took in a total of $7,621,648.41 in individual contributions. This is almost $3 million more than the PAC collected during the same time period in 2017.
The NRA's PAC also bested its gun control rivals by a wide margin. The Giffords PAC raised $195,429.99 from individual contributors throughout August—$744,521.28 less than the NRA's fundraising haul. The Giffords PAC has been given $4,355,858.32 so far this year. Michael Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund, an independent-expenditures-only PAC, has not filed any documents since its mid-year report, which showed the group was given a $5,000 contribution. That donation came from the group's own action fund.
The jump in donations to the NRA PVF comes in spite of internal turmoil at the gun rights giant. It also correlates with candidates in the Democratic primary embracing new gun bans and even confiscation schemes. Additionally, House Democrats have passed several new gun control bills in the past year.
In the lead up to August, Democratic candidates suggested strict new gun measures like a ban on the sale of certain guns and ammunition magazines, a national registry, and requiring a license to purchase a firearm. Former congressman Beto O'Rourke went further by declaring in September that he would actively confiscate America's most popular rifles.
"Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47," he said during the last debate. "We're not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore."
Senators Cory Booker (D., N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) have also expressed support for confiscation.
It remains to be seen if the turn toward gun confiscation by some Democrats will drive the NRA's fundraising even higher.
For now, the NRA PVF appears to be building its coffers for future political fights. The group spent $305,494.25 in August. It ended the month with $8,817,629.60 in the bank—$635,282.11 more than the group had at the beginning of the month.
The PAC is just one of the six groups that make up the National Rifle Association. It is subject to more frequent financial disclosure requirements than the other entities. Fundraising and spending for the overall organization won't be publicly released until the group's next annual meeting in 2020. Their last annual report showed a rebound in membership dues and contributions coupled with an increase in the group's spending.