FOXBusiness - The National Rifle Association, one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the U.S., lost $55 million in income last year, largely because of a steady decline in membership fees, according to a new tax return first obtained by the Daily Beast.
In 2017, the NRA reported $98 million in contributions, compared to a whopping $125 million in 2016. About one-third of its contributions came from a single, private donor, who gave the gun rights advocacy organization $19 million.
And while the gun rights group still pulled in about $312 million in total income in 2017, that’s far less than it nabbed in 2016 – $367 million – a year that saw a spike in donations and dues as the lobbyist group worked to elect Donald Trump to the White House.
Perhaps most significantly, however, was the decline in membership dues. The group took in more than $128 million in dues last year, a steady decline – about 22 percent – from the $163 million it had raked in during the previous year, although it’s unclear whether there were fewer members or if existing members paid less.
A spokesperson for the NRA, Andrew Arulanandam, however said membership is currently at the highest level it’s ever been in the “almost century and a half history of the National Rifle Association.”
“We stand at approximately 5.5 million members,” he told FOX Business. “And I think it’s a testament to the strength of the National Rifle Association and the confidence that people have in our historical ability to protect their Second Amendment rights.”