UPDATED 8/30: This story was updated to reflect the fact that Rep. Jon Hardister is running for state labor commissioner in 2024.

We need gun control, and we need it now.

Yesterday, hundreds of students in Chapel Hill — from college-aged to elementary schoolers — sat nervous and powerless in their classrooms as a gunman stalked the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill.

He killed one person.

Prior to yesterday’s shooting, there had been 386 school shootings since the Columbine massacre in 1999, according to the Washington Post. Now, there’s been 387.

On Saturday, just days before the gunman caused mayhem at UNC, three Black people were killed in a racist attack in Jacksonville, Fla. There have been more than 470 mass shootings this year alone.

We know we need gun control, but certain politicians, almost all of them Republicans, continue to lobby gun rights groups — most notably the NRA — to stop any sort of reform from happening. And it’s absolutely disgusting.

According to data collected by Open Secrets, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. that tracks data on campaign finance and lobbying, here are our local representatives who have benefited from donations from the NRA. These amounts signify the total amount the representatives have received directly or indirectly from the NRA throughout their political careers.

Sen. Thom Tillis – $5,611,796 since 2014

According to the Open Secrets list, Tillis ranks just second after Sen. Mitt Romney in terms of total NRA contributions and expenditures by the organization against his opponents. Most of that $5.6 million is made up of money that the NRA used to oppose Tillis’ candidates. Tillis received an “A” from the NRA in 2020. Tillis is up for re-election in 2026.

Sen. Ted Budd – $2,022,348 since 2016

Budd, who owns a gun shop in Rural Hall just north of Winston-Salem, ranks tenth on the Open Secrets list. More than half of his total ($1,370,534) comes from independent expenditures or funding that is not sent directly to the campaign but instead, is an expenditure for ads that advocated for his election over his opponents. Budd received an “A” from the NRA in 2020. Budd will be up for re-election in 2028.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC-5) – $40,801 since 2004

Virginia Foxx, whose district includes parts of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, has been steadily receiving funds from the NRA for the last two decades. While more recently she’s only received about $2,000, in the past she’s benefited from thousands of dollars of both direct and indirect support from the lobbying group. Foxx received an “A” from the NRA in 2020. She will be up for re-election in 2024.

Rep. Dan Bishop (NC-8) – $32,844 since 2019

Bishop, who was first elected in 2019, represents a district that partially covers High Point. According to Open Secrets, Bishop has received $32,844 from the NRA, most of that through independent support. Bishop received an “A” from the NRA in 2020. Bishop is up for re-election in 2024.

Additionally, Forsyth County Republicans Reps. Kyle Hall, Donny Lambeth and Sen. Joyce Krawiec — who are all up for re-election in 2024 — all received “A” grades from the NRA in 2020. Rep. Jeff Zenger received an “AQ” which is the highest grade an elected official can receive.

Guilford County Republicans Rep. Jon Hardister and Sen. Phil Berger (up for re-election in 2024) both received “A+” ratings in 2020 while Rep. John Faircloth (up for re-election in 2024) received a “B”.

Hardister is running for State Labor Commissioner in 2024.

Many of these representatives are up for re-election next year. It’s up to us to vote them out.

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