The previous best month in NRA’s PAC fundraising took place in the context of a national election. This new haul took place in the context of a national debate. As gun-control advocates tried to paint the NRA as an extremist group — or worse — their political action committee raised more than $1.1 million, almost double their average:

The National Rifle Association’s political action committee raised $1.1 million in January, according to the committee’s latest filing with the Federal Election Commission.

It’s the NRA’s best fundraising month since August 2012 — and reflects growing concern on the part of gun supporters that Congress and President Barack Obama are prepared to take steps to curb or limit access to firearms.

During 2011 and 2012, the committee raised, on average about $600,000 a month — for a two-year total of $14.3 million. The committee has nearly doubled their 2011-12 fundraising pace in a month full of vows from Obama and congressional Democrats to pass new gun control measures.

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