- Views & Opinions
The National Rifle Association and state gun and hunting groups are backing GOP legislative proposals that would make it a crime to photograph or videotape hunters on public land in Wisconsin.
Senate Bill 338 and Assembly Bill 433 were introduced by Sen. Terry Moulton, of Chippewa Falls, and Rep. Adam Jarchow, of Balsam Lake. Jarchow said his bills were in response to complaints from hunters who felt a group called Wolf Patrol was harassing them. The group documents trapping and hunting activities, and has focused this year on baiting bears. The measures call for fines of up to $10,000 and nine months in jail.
The bills have drawn support from the NRA, the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, and the NRA’s state chapter, which is called Wisconsin Firearm Owners, Ranges, Clubs & Educators. The proposals are opposed by the Humane Society of the United States.
In addition to being an influential lobbying force on state and federal pro-gun policies, the NRA has spent millions of dollars to influence state and federal elections. In Wisconsin, the NRA spent $3.6 million between 2008 and 2014 on independent expenditures to support Republican and conservative candidates for statewide offices and the legislature, which is controlled by Republicans. About $3.5 million, or 96 percent, of the NRA’s election spending between 2008 and 2014 in Wisconsin was to support GOP Gov. Scott Walker. The NRA spent the bulk of its electioneering war chest on broadcast ads and mailings.
To view the NRA’s outside electioneering activities, how much it spent and the candidates it supported and opposed in elections between 2008 and 2014, please check out the Democracy Campaign’s NRA profiles – here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
In addition to its outside spending on behalf of candidates, the NRA Political Victory Fund, which is the organization’s political action committee (PAC), made another $49,825 in direct contributions to candidates between 2008 and June 2015.
Since 2008, the NRA’s PAC and corporation have spent about $1,700 on independent expenditures to help elect Moulton and the PAC directly contributed another $500 to his campaign.