Against the background of a massive series of mass shootings, blast control groups overcame the National Riflon Association in the middle of the election cycle, federal depositions and additional reports, indicating the usual order of the partisan battle over the use of weapons.
Two groups focusing on arms control, Giffords and Everytown for Gun Safety, have spent at least $ 37 million at federal and state level over time, compared to at least $ 20 million by N.R.A. Figures are incomplete because some expenses incurred by such groups are not required to be disclosed, but all parties have agreed that N.R.A. was overcome, generating a financial domination trend for N.R.A. years ago.
Despite the fact that it was overtaken in a single electoral cycle, N.R.A. remains a strong force in American politics. Much of the organization's impact comes in its ability to mobilize millions of members and continues to hold a tremendous fund-raising and lobbying squad and a retreat of the Republican Party that will challenge any advancement in arms control.
But N.R.A. has also earned the most formidable counterweight since its emergence as a modern political force in the late 1970s.
Development also comes as N.R.A. has been suppressed by challenges, including the proliferation of mass shootings, including recent massacres at a A Pittsburgh synagogue and a California bar. The group is also in the midst of a legal battle with Governor New York, Andrew M. Cuomo, and state regulators, in connection with a controversial insurance plan he offers to gun owners. A report by the Center of Responsible Policies found that N.R.A. membership fees have fallen last year, although the group said subscribers have grown in its magazines this year.
This month, N.R.A. triggered a blame on Twitter, telling doctors to "stay in their lane" and attacking research by groups such as the American College of Physicians, who called gun violence a "public health crisis." There was a wave of answers, as a forensic pathologist wrote: "This is my band."
One of the most important factors in the financial debate of the arms debate was the involvement of Michael R. Bloomberg, former mayor of New York who has recently become a Democrat and is preparing for a presidential bid in 2020. Besides providing about one-third of Everytown's budget, he is the only financier of Independence USA, a political action committee that has spent about 60 million dollars in the cycle.
Mr. Bloomberg created Everytown four years ago as an umbrella organization for arms control, and his spending was initially focused on voting initiatives and state choices, according to tax documents. Now both Everytown and Giffords challenge the challenge for N.R.A. at the federal level, as N.R.A expenditures dropped compared to the last intervals, shows the filings.
While Independence USA does not focus exclusively on arms control, it was a central issue in an advertisement which was presented by Mr. Bloomberg himself, as well as announcements in support of Chrissy Houlahan, who won a seat outside a Philadelphia district, and Jason Crow, who won a seat in the Denver area.
Both sides supported victory after the election.
"Despite the spending of anti-gun billionaires like Michael Bloomberg, the arms control lobby has not yet managed to win the election," said Jennifer Baker, a N.R.A. the spokesperson.
John Feinblatt, chairman of Everytown, countered with a different interpretation: "There is no doubt in our minds that 2018 will be remembered as the year of the gun's safety and will be a moment of reset."
Both N.R.A. and Everytown said that about 80% of the candidates they approved won. The choices, of course, are won at the edge – apart from 80%. And there were cradle rails that helped bring home back to the Democrats, often helped by arms control groups.
Giffords, a group co-founded by former Congressman Gabrielle Giffords, injured in an assassination attempt in 2011, has concentrated its resources in several races. The group focused on four members of the House who received ratings from N.R.A. – John Culberson, in the Houston area; Mike Coffman in Colorado; Barbara Comstock of North Virginia, and Jason Lewis of Minnesota.
Giffords poured nearly $ 5 million combined into these contests, helping to destroy the gun during the race. All four have lost.
"We are in full swing and we are in decline," said Peter Ambler, Chief Executive Officer of the Giffords CAP.
Everytown, among other efforts, has spent $ 5 million in an advertising campaign called "Not One More "in 16 districts that did not have a traditional Democracy, and their favorite candidates prevailed in 15 of these races. (In the 16th, Ann Wagner, a Missouri republican, took his place.)
However, the NRA was assured by Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, a firm attorney for arms rights, who held an open seat of the Senate for the Republican Party. The favored candidate also ruled in Missouri, where Josh Hawley, the Prosecutor General, defeated the old Democrat, Senator Claire McCaskill. Oliver North, president of N.R.A, had a campaign with Mr. Hawley in the last days of the race.
"N.R.A. efforts in the pivotal pillars of the US Senate have been critical to raising the majority for Senate amendments that will ensure the confirmation of federal candidates compliant with the second amendment, "said Baker, the NRA spokesman, said.
How big the impact of each party on a certain race is hard to say. Guns ranked third among voters in a NBC / Wall Street Journal survey during the summer and sixth in a Pew survey. Mr. Crow won a seat in the sixth district of the Colorado Congress, which includes the Aurora movie theater, which was the site of a 2012 massacre, making gun control a central issue. In other races, like Mrs. Houlahan's win in the sixth district of Pennsylvania, it was one of the many factors.
But weapons control groups are becoming more and more aggressive. After N.R.A. has recorded archive records of his high class, often quoted from his site earlier this year, Everytown posted the data on his own site.
"These notes were seen as a director during the elections," said Mr. Everyin, the chairman of Everytown, who said that they are now "a scribble letter" for many voters in full swing.
N.R.A. officials fought at this and said they just reformatted their site.
"After the elections are no longer relevant," Ms. Baker said.
In any case, both sides will have their champions in the new Congress.
Hours after a meal at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, Mrs. Blackburn, who obtained a rating from N.R.A., told Fox that it was important to "protection of the second amendment ", as well as citizens.
This was in contrast to Lucy McBath, the Delta's former flight officer, who won a seat in the Georgia Congress. Ms. McBath became an activist for Everytown after her 17-year-old son was shot and killed in 2012.
"Unfortunately, it is not surprising that on the same day we officially became a chosen Congressman, other families in this country receive the same call we just made six years ago," wrote Tweeand Oaks. "I am committed to doing everything I can to make our communities safer."