A new third-party audit of the National Rifle Association’s finances, obtained by OpenSecrets, found the group to be in the red for the second year in a row.
The audit found that after a high-spending year during the 2016 elections, the NRA has seen a sharp decrease in income from dues-paying members for two years in a row.
The audit found that after spending at least $54.4 million supporting President TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE and other Republicans in 2016 races, the group had a deficit of nearly $14.8 million at the end of the year. By the end of the following year, 2017, the NRA had a total deficit of $31.8 million.
The group’s spending after the 2016 election dropped by $76 million, but it was not enough to offset the effects of declining revenue, according to OpenSecrets, which plummeted by $56 million.
By comparison, the NRA saw $27.8 million in positive assets at the end of 2015.
The audit, apparently performed by RSM US LLP, also found that the NRA has significantly slowed its election spending so far in 2018, reporting just $2.7 million spent. At this point in the 2016 presidential election cycle, the group had spent $19.2 million.
The audit looked solely at the finances of the NRA’s 501(c)(4) nonprofit arm, not its political action committee. That branch of the gun group is not required to disclose its donors.
The NRA has disclosed its financial challenges before, detailing its difficulties in a recent lawsuit filed against the state of New York. In that lawsuit, the group alleged that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and state officials engaged in a “political and discriminatory campaign” against the NRA with a regulatory decision that pressured financial institutions to cut ties with the group.
The NRA said in the complaint that it may “be unable to exist as a not-for-profit or pursue its advocacy mission” as a result of the regulation.
The Hill has reached out to the NRA for comment.