In the week since a school shooting in Florida claimed 17 lives, survivors seeking gun reform are questioning how the political influence of the National Rifle Association will affect the gun debate.

“Sen. [Marco] Rubio, can you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA?” asked Cameron Kasky, a junior who survived the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

“The answer is that people buy into my agenda, and I do support the Second Amendment,” said Rubio, who pressed on through boos at the CNN town hall Wednesday to explain that he would support any law that “would keep guns out of the hands of a deranged killer.”

The NRA is spending unprecedented amounts in American politics, with record spending in the 2016 election cycle.

For perspective, the $30.3 million spent to elect Donald Trump as president was more than the gun lobby spent in all federal elections — including all U.S. Senate and House races — in 2008 and 2012 combined, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan watchdog that tracks political spending.

Trump and six federal candidates received 96 percent of campaign spending in 2016, including $2.2 million for the re-election of Ohio Sen. Rob Portman. In all, the NRA spent $419 million, or $105 million more than the year before, according to a report the gun rights organization filed with the state of North Carolina last year. That includes gun training and education efforts, though political activity accounted for the bulk of the uptick in year-over-year spending.

While gun sales, which also broke records in 2016, have slumped since Trump took office, NRA spending has continued to climb.

Federal Elections Commission reports show that the National Rifle Association of America Political Action Fund spent $5.1 million in the past 13 months, all while nearly doubling its cash reserves from $1.5 million to $2.9 million. Some of that money, paid out of the organization’s political operation in Fairfax, Va., has trickled to Ohio.

Because 501(c)4 organizations are not required to disclose donors, the source of only 11 percent of the $6.3 million in donations collected since January 2017 is reported by the Federal Elections Commission.

Aside from Portman, the following members of the U.S. House benefited from NRA donations, indirect support or attack ads against their opponents in 2016. Combined support for each candidate is totaled from reports compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics:

• Steve Chabot, R-Cincinnati, $114,548

• Steve Stivers, R-Columbus, $70,997

• Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, $56,656

• David Joyce, R-Russell Twp., $47,921

• Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, $46,347

• Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, $43,022

• Tim Ryan, D-Niles, $24,805

• Michael Turner, R-Dayton, $23,465

• Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, $15,878

• Brad Wenstrup, R-Cincinnati, $7,000

• Bob Gibbs, R-Lakeville, $3,198

• Warren Davidson, R-Troy, $2,000

Ryan, who said he enjoys hunting and once had an “A” rating from the NRA, said last year while challenging U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi for minority leadership that he would give his NRA contributions to gun safety groups.

According to state campaign finance reports, local politicians and statewide candidates who have received support from the NRA and its local chapters since 2012 include:

• State Rep. Keith Faber, R-Celina, $1,985

• Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted, $1,000

• Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, $1,000

• State Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Hudson, $300

Before his loss to Gibb in 2010, Ohio auditor candidate and Democrat Zack Space also received support from the NRA.

Reach Doug Livingston at 330-996-3792 or dlivingston@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him @ABJDoug on Twitter or www.facebook.com/doug.livingston.92 on Facebook.