Accuracy in Media

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has been a major political advocacy force for gun rights and the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution for decades, but due to both internal turmoil and a trip by some executives to Russia, its tax-exempt status could be revoked by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if some Senate Democratic lawmakers had their way.

The NRA has often supported Republican candidates for standing with them on gun rights issues, such as opposing universal background checks and bans on AR-15 model rifles. Multiple lawmakers within the Democratic Party have made the NRA a rallying cry to promote gun control laws on a state and national level. But after a trip by some NRA executives to Russia in 2015, the Democrats want an investigation into the organization’s tax-exempt status.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) wrote a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig asking him to investigate the NRA for violating non-profit tax status.

Specifically, the senators claimed the NRA did not act as a social welfare organization in pre-2016 election activities and it profited from those activities. The senators highlighted their report, which claimed top NRA officials used member dues to meet two Russian individuals to eventually influence the Russian government.

The NRA denied those claims and said that “Nothing could be further from the truth,” NBC News reported. Politico reiterated the same statement from the NRA and provided similar background information for the senators’ letter to the IRS.

The lack of media attention to the Democratic Senators’ letter to the IRS commissioner inferred that it is very unlikely that the NRA would lose its tax-exempt status. Only NBC News and Politico reported on the letter to the IRS, and both articles were no longer than seven paragraphs. Meaning, most of the political oxygen in media newsrooms is dedicated to the current 2020 presidential race, and not to an investigation into the NRA.

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