Senator Catches NRA Head in Epic Flip Flop
Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) caught National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre in a significant contradiction during Wednesday’s hearing on preventing gun violence. Since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut the nation’s most influential gun lobby has opposed the growing bipartisan push for universal background checks, arguing that such a policy would infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law abiding Americans. But as Leahy pointed out, the group has supported the reasonable background checks in the past.
Under current law, gun purchasers buying firearms from federally licensed dealers are subject to background checks. As a result, more than 2 million applicants have been prohibited from purchasing guns. Unfortunately, 40 percent of firearm acquisitions are from individuals who are not licensed gun dealers and do not undergo any background checks. Gun safety advocates have sought to close the loophole for years and in the 1999, the NRA backed this effort.
‘We think it is reasonable to provide mandatory, instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show,’ LaPierre said during a hearing held on May 27, 1999, in the wake of the Columbine High School shooting. ‘No loopholes anywhere for anyone. That means closing the Hinckley loophole so the records of those adjudicated mentally ill are in the system.’