Contributions to powerful gun lobby group the National Rifle Association (NRA) increased significantly last month in the wake of a mass shooting at a Florida high school.
Reports from the Federal Election Commission show donations to the NRA’s Political Victory Fund tripled from January to February. On 14 February, a shooter armed with an AR-15 rifle killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The data indicates that as student survivors of the shooting began mobilising a mass movement calling for stricter gun control laws, gun advocates took action in a different way.
In January, the NRA collected almost $248,000 (176,800)in individual contributions. In February, the gun-rights lobbying group received more than $779,000 (555,000).
The Political Victory Fund contributes money to gun rights-friendly candidates that the NRA has endorsed.
The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political spending, tracked donations of $200 or more by individuals in the days before and after the Parkland shooting.
In the two weeks following the attack on 14 February, such donations to the NRA doubled from the previous two weeks.
The centre also found that the number of people contributing in the seven days after the shooting increased by almost 500 per cent from the week before.
Last month after the shooting, two gun control groups, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, spent $230,000 (164,000) on a massive New York Times advert listing the names and telephone numbers of 276 members of Congress who take NRA money but refuse to take action to pass gun safety legislation.