Explore Econ: NRA

“Lobbyists have more offices in Washington than the President. You see, the President only tells Congress what they should do. Lobbyists tell’em what they will do.” The National Rifle Association established in 1871 is one of the most powerful lobby groups there is in our present time. As its name implies, it’s an association that aims on keeping guns and all fire arms legal in the United States. The NRA had just manipulated people in power to preserve gun rights and increase arms market share in the US economy. We will see how this group managed to impact the economy and its agents without lifting a finger as it relied solely on power and funding to do so.


The NRA managed to be omnipresent in political decisions through congress members and people in power in the white house. They play a huge role in electing the people in charge and influencing their decisions.


Through the course of the 20th and the current century, the NRA campaigned fiercely against democrats and supported republicans to the last breath; the past presidential elections are living examples. In the following graph this claim is evident. For example, almost $20 million US dollars were spent in opposition to Hillary Clinton.


Unfortunately, the civilians are the ones bearing the costs of this increase in guns’ market power. Incidents became more and more likely to occur and massive shootings had multiplied during the years. According to the NSSF, the guns market boosted the economy by $49.3bn hence generating $6.2bn in taxes for the government to profit of by 2016. Moreover, Statista estimated an induced economic impact of $15.5bn generating from the guns industry in the US in 2017.


One might wonder, what does the NRA have to do with the economy and in that case who would the economic agents be, which is pretty reasonable. Simply, the funded politicians and the members of the NRA are themselves the dominant economic agents as they are the ones advocating gun rights and supporting guns industries through funding. The public easily persuaded by their representatives would be convinced that guns do protect them and are a natural right of theirs. Gradually, the market equilibrium would shift right with demand increasing. With the number of guns sold, one cannot deny the impact of this lobby group on the economy as a whole. These revenues do enrich the economy and place the republicans in the position of power. At this point any policy to be made for gun control would be extremely tough following the unwillingness of people to give up their sacred right so strongly protected by the second amendment.


In addition, the money that the NRA spends lobbying is by itself shockingly immense. Through the last few years, the association had spent roughly $10m to maintain the gun policy not to mention the extra amount it spent in order to support the politicians that agree on what it stands for.

To put it in a nutshell, the NRA has affected the economy through its contagious support of the use of weapons by civilians in the US; however more data showing the correlation between the number of guns sold and the NRA is needed to affirm that it is strongly affecting the arms market and the American economy.


Christel Najm



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