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Congress Unlikely to Embrace New Gun Laws Following Connecticut Shooting

The National Rifle Association and its associated nonprofits spent nearly $18 million supporting mostly Republican candidates in November, including $13 million opposing Obama’s re-election.

The NRA had spent $2.2 million to fight gun control measures between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, federal records show. A collection of other gun rights advocates spent another $1.5 million in the same period, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, headquartered in Newtown, Conn., spent $500,000 fighting gun regulations between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30

A much smaller cadre of groups advocating gun control laws — most prominent among them the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence — spent only $180,000 in that time period.

The NRA did not immediately comment on the Connecticut shooting Friday.

Brady Campaign President Dan Gross said in a statement that “we were moved by President Obama’s raw emotion during his remarks today. We are committed to working with him to channel it into the change that is too long overdue.”

A Presidential Shift?

At the very least, experts said, Obama’s statement Friday may point to a shift in his public willingness to promote gun control legislation.

Obama has been vilified by the NRA and other gun-rights organizations as an opponent of the constitutional right to bear arms, even though his record as president has seen gun rights expanded, rather than limited. Obama has signed legislation allowing Americans to carry firearms in national parks, for example.

Even as the NRA and other gun rights organizations have called Obama a threat, gun-control groups have expressed disappointment in his first term and called on him to do more. Obama has supported the reinstatement of the expired assault weapons ban, but has put limited political capital behind the effort.

Sabato said Obama’s re-election may embolden him on the question of gun control and that the issue would probably surface in a presidential address early next year — even if Obama himself knows that Congress is unlikely to send him a bill.

Janie Lorber and Lauren Smith contributed to this article.

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