RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Several North Carolina legislators have used campaign funds to purchase guns and memberships in the National Rifle Association, an organization that's drawn increased scrutiny following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

The News & Observer reports Republican state Rep. Larry Yarborough purchased a $447.25 pistol, listed in the state campaign finance database under "personal protection expense."

Yarborough says people "openly hate" him and he needs to be safer. State Board of Elections spokesman Pat Gannon says Yarborough couldn't retain his weapon if he left politics.

Records also show Republican state Sen. Trudy Wade spent $2,200 on a shotgun to raffle.

Since 2011, at least five state legislators, all Republicans, have used campaign money to purchase NRA memberships, including now-U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis.

McClatchy reports 11 members of Congress spent campaign funds on NRA memberships in 2017.

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Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com