A Washington-based political watchdog group this week joined the call on the federal government to audit the National Rifle Association, saying the group failed to properly disclose its political activity over a six-year period.
The group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, sent requests to the Internal Revenue Service and Federal Election Commission on Tuesday demanding the agencies investigate the NRA Political Victory Fund and Institute for Legislative Action, the pro-gun group’s political and lobbying arms.
The NRA said the politically motivated accusations are baseless and the federal agencies wouldn’t bother auditing the gun rights group for what amounts to filing mistakes.
“CREW is a partisan organization with a political agenda and in this instance they are acting as a tool of gun control lobby to harass the NRA,” Jennifer Baker, NRA spokeswoman, told Guns.com on the record Thursday. “This ‘so-called’ complaint is baseless and nothing more than a PR stunt.”
The watchdog group’s call to action followed that of gun control group The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and was spurred by an April investigative report by Yahoo News which found some donations made to the NRA’s lobbying efforts actually went to its political activities.
The NRA in response to the report admitted it had made a coding error while collecting contributions during the course of four months in 2014, which resulted in $125,000 being misdirected out of the $50.8 million raised by the PVF and ILA combined that year.
Donald F. McGahn, former commissioner and chairman of the FEC, told the Washington Free Beacon the mistake is “not uncommon” and “isn’t a big deal.”