The National Rifle Association is flexing political muscle on issues beyond core gun-control questions, says the New York Times. The NRA has has recntly weighed in on such varied issues as health care, campaign finance, credit card regulations and Supreme Court nominees. In the health care debate this year, NRA lobbyists worked with Senate majority leader Harry Reid to include a provision banning insurance companies from charging higher premiums for people with guns in their homes.
The NRA's expanding portfolio is an outgrowth of its success in the courts. With the Supreme Court’s rulings that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to have a gun, the NRA now finds that its defining battle is a matter of settled law, and it has the resources to expand into other areas. “The last two years have been a disaster for us,” said Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), a longtime advocate of increased gun control. “A lot of members are just afraid of the NRA.”