This project investigates the variance in gun control legislation at the state level and the role that interest groups play in the passage of policy. Many scholars have evaluated the role of interest groups in state politics and many have determined that the level of professionalism in a state impacts the influence that groups may have. I argue that professionalism also impacts the role of interest groups related to gun rights and gun control with states with less professional legislatures see more interest group influence than more professional states. Using donation data, I was able to determine that there was a difference in the amount of money donated by gun rights groups with states that repealed legislation receiving more and states passing legislation receiving less but this difference was not significant. I also find that legislative change occurs only in states with lower levels of professionalisms thus, the role that professionalism plays in movement in legislation was significant.


van Doorn, Bas


Political Science


American Politics


State Government, Gun Control, Gun Rights, Money in Politics, Interest Groups, Lobbying

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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