NRA’s LaPierre to tell Congress more gun laws ‘not a serious solution’ | Fox News

| January 30, 2013 | 0 Comments

A top National Rifle Association official will tell a Senate committee Wednesday — in the first Capitol Hill hearing on gun control since President Obama announced his proposals – that more gun laws without enforcing existing ones “is not a serious solution” to reducing crime.

“Prosecuting criminals who misuse firearms works,” NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre is expected to say, according to prepared testimony for the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Unfortunately, we’ve seen a dramatic collapse in federal gun prosecutions in recent years.”

LaPierre is part of a panel of high-profile witnesses Wednesday morning that will include Mark Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head while meeting with constituents outside an Arizona supermarket in 2011. Six people were killed, and 12 were wounded.

Giffords herself is expected to deliver a brief statement at the start of the hearing, Fox News confirms. Kelly and Giffords, a gun owner, have formed a political action committee called Americans for Responsible Solutions to back lawmakers who support tighter gun restrictions and counter the influence of the NRA.

LaPierre, though, argues that prosecution for federal weapons violations in 2011 was essentially down 35 percent, compared to previous administrations, which he says means violent felons, gang members and the mentally ill who possess firearms are not being prosecuted.

“That’s unacceptable,” says LaPierre, who suggested fixing the country’s “broken” mental-health system become part of the solution to gun violence – including making patient records part of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

The hearing, titled “What Should America Do about Gun Violence,” will take place roughly seven weeks after a lone gunman with psychological problems used an assault weapon to kill 20 first-graders and six adults inside a Connecticut elementary school, prompting renewed calls for more gun control.

The NRA, with 4.5 million active members, remains the most powerful gun-rights advocacy group in the country.

The president is essentially calling for a renewed ban on semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines, along with more extensive background checks.

LaPierre argues another key to curbing gun violence is awareness programs like the NRA’s and that background checks “will never be universal because criminals will never submit to them.”

He said the group is willing to work with Congress and the president in curbing gun violence, but “law-abiding gun owners will not accept blame for the acts of violent or deranged criminals. Nor do we believe the government should dictate what we can lawfully own and use to protect our families.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has already introduced legislation taking similar steps to Obama’s proposals.

The California Democrat on Tuesday said she will hold her own hearing on gun control because she was unhappy that three of the five witnesses testifying Wednesday are "skewed against us." Feinstein is a member of the Judiciary Committee.

Despite the momentum gun control advocates have gained since the massacre in Newtown, Conn, it will be difficult for them to prevail in Congress this year because of the popularity of guns in many states — including several represented by Democratic senators — and the formidable muscle of the NRA on Capitol Hill, lawmakers and others say.

Among other obstacles, the Republican-run House has shown little immediate interest in making dramatic changes in the laws.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

via NRA's LaPierre to tell Congress more gun laws 'not a serious solution' | Fox News.

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