SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — National Rifle Association donations were trending on Twitter Wednesday morning after another mass shooting in the United States Tuesday.
An 18-year-old gunman used an AR-style rifle to kill 19 children and two teachers in a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
In South Dakota, guns have been a way of life since statehood and the state has a rich hunting history. Governor Kristi Noem recently called the state “a 2nd Amendment sanctuary” referring to the Constitutional right to bear arms.
That gun sanctuary is reflected in support and donations from gun rights organizations like the National Rifle Association.
The NRA’s Political Victory Fund gives A+ grades and has endorsed Republicans Sen. John Thune, Rep. Dusty Johnson and Noem.
The NRA says an A+ rating is for “a legislator with not only an excellent voting record on all critical NRA issues, but who has also made a vigorous effort to promote and defend the Second Amendment.”
According to OpenSecrets.org, Thune received $5,945 and Johnson received $2,000 in contributions from PACs and individuals giving $200 or more related to the issue of gun rights during the 2021-2022 election cycle.
Noem’s most recent campaign finance disclosure with the Secretary of State’s office is 197 pages long. There are no direct ties to NRA funding.
According to BradyUnited.org, Thune has received $638,942 in donations from the NRA, while Sen. Mike Rounds has totaled $95,049. Brady United is an organization that focuses on gun violence and named after Jim Brady, Ronald Reagan’s press secretary who was disabled from a gunshot wound from an assassination attempt on Reagan.
On the other side of the issue, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund has spent money against pro-gun candidates.
According to the FEC, the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund has spent $861 to oppose Thune in South Dakota’s 2022 U.S. Senate race.