As the Washington Free Beacon‘s Stephen Gutowski reported over the weekend, at least two of the nation’s largest gun control groups have relied on loans from the federally-funded Paycheck Protection Program to keep staffers on the payroll over the past few months, even as the gun control groups have vowed to spend millions of dollars promoting anti-gun candidates in the 2020 elections.
Brady received somewhere between $350,000 and $1,000,000 to help keep 41 staffers on the job banning guns, while Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence took in somewhere between $100,000 and $350,000 to pay their anti-gun attorneys. The moves mean that not only are taxpayers helping to now meet the payroll for the gun control groups, but money that could have been spent on salaries can now be spent electing anti-gun politicians.
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence received between $350,000 and $1 million on April 10 to support 41 employees, according to the Small Business Administration. The center is the educational arm of the Brady organization, which also features a political advocacy arm, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, as well as the political action committee Brady PAC. In March, the Brady PAC endorsed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and announced it would spend $4 million to help elect him and other gun-control candidates to office.
Liam Sullivan, a spokesman for the Brady Center, defended the loans, saying that the pandemic had affected the organization’s funding and caused it to cancel major fundraising events, including its annual gala.
“Like other nonprofits, the Brady Center is funded by giving and fundraising events, both of which obviously have been impacted and will be impacted for the foreseeable future,” he said. “We just applied and were approved, obviously, under the same sort of criteria as others with concerns for payroll.”
The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on all kinds of groups, but I can’t help but get the feeling that the anti-gun organizations might cry foul if, say, the NRA had ended up taking PPP loans. After all, they too had to cancel their national convention, and the Friends of NRA dinners that provide a large source of funding for the NRA Foundation have been curtailed for months thanks to COVID-19 concerns. The media and gun control groups would go nuts if any pro-Second Amendment outfit took advantage of the PPP funds to keep their doors open and their lights on.
Alan Gottlieb, executive director of the Second Amendment Foundation, calls the move “yet another fraud” on the part of the gun control groups, who he says have plenty of cash on hand to cover payroll.
“We didn’t take a penny of taxpayer money, nor did we even apply, because that simply would not have been appropriate,” he stated.
“On the other hand,” he added, “the Brady and Gifford groups fought to keep gun stores closed while taking taxpayer funds to stop people from being able to buy firearms and ammunition to protect themselves and their property from violence including rioters, looters and arsonists.”
“More appalling is the fact that, according to their latest tax returns, the Brady and Gifford organizations have several millions of dollars in assets,” Gottlieb noted. “They did not need any taxpayer money to keep their doors open.”
Well, they don’t need our guns but they keep going after them too, so I’m not surprised to see them go after money they don’t need. And make no mistake, there’s nothing illegal about what the gun control groups did, though Gutowski notes that organizations like the Florida Democratic Party announced it would give back $750,000 in PPP funds after a public outcry. I’m going to go out on a pretty sturdy limb here and predict that we won’t see either gun control organization follow suit, nor will we see many media outlets even report on Gutowski’s findings. The double standard is real.