The Fairfax County-based NRA has made an unusually large political donation to Virginia House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah), coughing up $200,000 to Gilbert’s political action fund.
That’s roughly 15 times larger than the NRA’s previous top-dollar donation — $13,500 in direct donations to Virginia GOP groups in 2019, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
Earlier this summer, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) called the Virginia General Assembly into special session to consider gun safety legislation in the wake of the deadly Virginia Beach rampage but the session lasted only 90 minutes before being adjourned until after the November elections. It was Gilbert who moved that the House adjourn the special session.
Gilbert is chairman of the House Courts of Justice’s criminal law subcommittee, and has been a staunch foe of gun control measures. He won the NRA’s “Defender of Freedom” award in 2017, cited because “he has consistently stood up to the gun control lobby and aggressively fought to promote our fundamental right to self-protection.”
Gilbert says the large NRA donation is nothing to get excited about.
“It pales in comparison to the millions that Mayor Bloomberg has already pledged to bring New York-style gun control to Virginia,” he said, according to the Newport News Daily Press. Earlier this year, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety committee said it would be giving $2.5 million to Virginia legislative candidates this year.
“Follow the damn money. The NRA is paying Virginia Republicans to block common sense safety measures. Todd Gilbert, Kirk Cox, and their Republicans colleagues have sold their souls to the NRA, and on November 5, we are going to take their majorities. Enough,” said Jake Rubenstein, DPVA Communications Director, in a news release.