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Everytown Statement on NPR Report That Uncovers the NRA May Have Accepted More Contributions From Russian Donors Than First Acknowledged

NPR: New Documents Reveal That at Least One More Russian Citizen Publicly Claims to be a Member of the National Rifle Association; NRA Membership Requires a Monetary Contribution

Former NRA Lobbyist: “Nobody Is Running Background Checks When They’re Sending in Your Check…” “There’s No Way That NRA Would Even Know If Someone Is a Russian Citizen or a Russian National.”

NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety released the following statement today responding to a new NPR report revealing that the NRA may have accepted more contributions from Russian donors than first acknowledged, including a donation from a Russian citizen, Evgeny Spiridonov, who works for a U.S.-sanctioned arms manufacturer and was arrested earlier this year when he tried to board a flight from Los Angeles to Moscow carrying a rifle scope, which authorities say requires an export license.

This would make one more Russian member than NRA outside counsel, Steven Hart acknowledged in a March 28 interview with ABC News. In the interview, the NRA admitted to taking money from Russian citizen, Alexander Torshin, claiming it was his “life membership payment” of less than $1,000 and was not used for election-related activities. Hart claimed that was the organization’s “one contribution from a Russian” since 2012. However, Spiridonov claims he has been an NRA member since 2015.

Last week, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned Torshin, who is reportedly key to an FBI probe into “whether Russian money went to [the] NRA to help Trump.”

STATEMENT FROM JOHN FEINBLATT, PRESIDENT OF EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:

“Another day, another revelation about Russian donors to the NRA. The American people deserve a full and honest answer about the NRA’s ties to a nation with a documented history of meddling in our elections.”

Key report findings include:

  • Russian citizen Evgeny Spiridonov, who has ties to weapons-maker Kalashnikov Concern, said in court documents filed as part of his case that he has been an NRA member since 2015.
  • Spiridonov may not be the only Russian NRA donor besides Torshin. It is also reported that Maria Butina, a Russian gun rights activist with widely reported ties to Torshin and American political circles, has been identified as a lifetime NRA member.