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Is your member of Congress a Lap Dog for the corporate gun lobby?

A Lap Dog is a member of Congress that takes treats from the corporate gun lobby AND blocks progress on expanding Brady background checks.

What is a Lap Dog?

A Lap Dog is a member of Congress that takes treats from the corporate gun lobby AND blocks progress on expanding Brady background checks. The rating applies to members of the 114th Congress.

The Lap Dog label is based on two basic criteria:

1. Did you support legislative efforts to expand background checks on gun sales?
AND
2. Did you take money from the corporate gun lobby?

Senators are rated based on how they voted on the Manchin-Toomey amendment legislation in April of 2013 that would have expanded background checks on all online and gun show sales.*

  • A “Thumbs Up” rating means the senator voted for the Manchin-Toomey amendment.
  • A “Thumbs Down” rating means the senator voted against the Manchin-Toomey amendment.

House Representatives are rated based on whether or not they have signed on to co-sponsor pending legislation to expand Brady background checks. (H.R. 3411 or H.R. 1217, 114th Congress).

  • A “Thumbs Up” rating means the representative is a current co-sponsor on pending legislation to expand Brady background checks.
  • A “Thumbs Down” rating means the representative is not a current co-sponsor on pending legislation to expand Brady background checks.

The corporate gun lobby is defined to include: the National Rifle Association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Gun Owners of America.

Total money contributions from the corporate gun lobby, dating back to 1990 for the 114th Congress, are based on a dollar sign ($) scale of one to five, and defined as the following:

1 dollar sign equals: $1.00 - $10,000.00
2 dollar signs equal: $10,001.00 - $20,000.00
3 dollar signs equal: $20,001.00 - $45,000.00
4 dollar signs equal: $45,001.00 - $65,000.00
5 dollar signs equal: $65,001.00 and above.

* One Freshman Senator, Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) cosponsored H.R. 1565 to expand Brady background checks in the 113th Congress and six Freshman Senators, Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Steve Daines (R-MT), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), James Lankford (R-OK), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) did not cosponsor H.R. 1565 to expand Brady background checks in the U.S. House in the 113th Congress. At the time of scorecard release there was not pending legislation in the U.S. Senate to expand Brady background checks.

Sources:
For Manchin-Toomey amendment vote.
For H.R. 3411 Co-Sponsors.
For H.R. 1217 Co-Sponsors.
For gun lobby contribution amounts.
(Accessed July 2015)

Click on your state to see if your member of Congress is a Lap Dog for the corporate gun lobby.
Select your state to see if your member of Congress is a Lap Dog for the corporate gun lobby.
Select your state to see if your member of Congress is a Lap Dog for the corporate gun lobby.

3 Ways You Can Expose Lap Dogs in Your State

Shame these Lap Dogs for begging for gun lobby treats.

Create Lap Dog-Labeled Items

  • Download a Lap Dog label here.
  • Print out one of the labels.
  • Take the label and tape it on dog food cans, bags, dog treat boxes, and other items.
  • Deliver the Lap Dog-labeled items to a Lap Dog’s district office or town hall event to show them you know they are a Lap Dog.
  • Capture video and photos of you making your Lap Dog delivery, share them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag: #NRALapDogs
  • Take selfies of you with the labels and items and share them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag: #NRALapDogs

Make your own Lap Dog

  • Download a Lap Dog body here.
  • Print out one of the supplied Lap Dog bodies.
  • Find a photo of your favorite Lap Dog in Congress and print it out.
  • Cut out the head of your Lap Dog in Congress and the dog body.
  • Paste the head on the dog body.
  • Take photos of your Lap Dog! Feed it treats and tweet it at the member of Congress to show them you know they're a Lap Dog!
  • Share your photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag: #NRALapDogs

Sign the Finish the Job petition

Tell these Lap Dogs in Congress to stop begging for treats from the corporate gun lobby and, instead, do the right thing to expand Brady background checks to all gun sales.

Watch advocate Kelley Byrdsong confront Lap Dogs in Congress. Sign the petition to tell these Lap Dogs to expand Brady background checks on all gun sales.

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