Dudley Brown isn't happy.
The pro-gun lobbyist threw all of his weight Thursday behind ensuring a Republican filibuster threatened by Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Marco Rubio, R-Fla. and Mike Lee, R-Utah, would stop a new gun control bill. But the Senate voted to move forward on the bill, squashing the filibuster.
"We spent a million bucks trying to stop that [motion to proceed]," says Brown, who is executive director of two gun rights advocacy and lobbying groups, the National Association for Gun Rights and the Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. "We spent it on lobbying... We thought the NRA, once we put all the pressure on, would see that's an obligatory fight. They didn't."
The Senate vote came after a bipartisan compromise by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa. Toomey has received an "A" rating in the past from the NRA for his pro-gun rights voting record, but a letter the NRA sent to senators Thursday warned that Toomey's and other senators' scores might soon change.
Dave Workman, spokesman for the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, a lobbying group, says his group didn't invest nearly as much in the failed filibuster.
"We sent out an email alert," he said. "Some people think the world ended because they didn't stop the filibuster. Other think we need to get these guys to a vote on an actual gun rights issue. It's a real mixed bag in the gun community right now."