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Investigation

Bang for the Buck

The National Rifle Association is one of the most powerful special interest groups in America. We’re investigating how it spends its money.

  • $24 million

    The sum spent on federal candidates during the 2020 election cycle by the NRA.

  • -34%

    The decline in NRA membership revenue in 2019, a seven-year low.

  • 10

    The number of investigations targeting the NRA and its executives.

Full Coverage

Lead Reporters

  • Will Van Sant

    Will is a staff writer at The Trace. His reporting focuses on the gun lobby and related topics. Previously, he spent seven years on the investigative reporting team at Newsday, chronicling the cronyism, self-enrichment, and abuses of power endemic to government and law enforcement in New York. Stories that break ground, reveal connections, and dive below the surface are his jam. Will loves to learn things that he's not supposed to know.
  • Mike Spies

    Mike is a senior staff writer at The Trace. He has produced numerous high-impact investigative projects focusing on the gun lobby, including a series that revealed widespread self-dealing at the National Rifle Association. A finalist for The Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award, the series led to New York Attorney General Letitia James's lawsuit seeking to dissolve the NRA and her office's ongoing attempts to hold its leadership accountable. Spies has also earned a New York Press Club Award for continuing coverage, and in 2017 was recognized as a finalist for the Livingston Award. His bylines have appeared in The New Yorker, POLITICO magazine, Rolling Stone, and ProPublica, where he worked as a reporter focusing on democracy issues and the federal government.