Jan 29 2013
The National Rifle Association will appear Wednesday at the first congressional hearings on gun violence in the wake of Newtown – at the invitation of Democrats.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy invited the group to testify alongside Mark Kelly, whose wife, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was shot at a Tucson supermarket in 20 while she was greeting constituents.
The NRA strategy, at least according to prepared testimony, remains the same as it has since 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.: push for armed guards in schools and insist that measures like an assault weapons ban and universal background checks won’t help matters.
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“When it comes to the issue of background checks, let’s be honest – background checks will never be ‘universal’ – because criminals will never submit to them,” chief NRA lobbyist Wayne LaPierre plans to say, according to prepared testimony released in advance of the hearing.
Universal background checks – closing the loophole that allows private gun sales to people who haven’t had a criminal records check – is one of the gun safety measures most likely to pass the Senate. Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican, told Tulsa TV station KRMG that he is working with Democrats to craft a bill that would mandate the background checks.
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