The bill will “implement five commonsense gun safety reforms that polling shows are supported by at least 63 percent of NRA members,” according to a press release (below, after the jump).
The National Rifle Association is holding a “major news conference” tomorrow (Friday). In its first public statement since the Sandy Hook massacre, the organization has said that it’s prepared to offer “meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.” Details about the NRA’s proposals have yet to be released.
Moran’s bill would require background checks for every gun purchase and for gun shop employees, prohibit individuals on the terrorist watch list from purchasing guns, require gun owners to report to police when their guns are lost or stolen, and establish a set of minimum standards for concealed carry permits.
On Wednesday, President Obama called on Congress to act on gun control legislation. He appointed Vice President Joe Biden to lead an effort to draft policies intended to reduce gun violence.
Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, today introduced the “NRA Members’ Gun Safety Act” to strengthen vulnerabilities in our gun safety laws. The bill would implement five commonsense gun safety reforms that polling shows are supported by at least 63 percent of NRA members.
“The NRA as an organization is out of step with its membership on many commonsense gun safety measures. Polling shows nearly two-thirds of NRA members support the five simple ways to improve gun safety included in this bill,” Moran said. “The NRA’s absolutist position on gun issues is an impediment to the safety and security of the public. This legislation is designed to highlight that schism, offering popular proposals even NRA members support to prevent more gun-related tragedies.”
Research by Republican pollster Frank Luntz shows the five gun safety reforms in this legislation received overwhelming support from both gun owners and NRA members. The provisions, several of which are drawn from gun safety legislation introduced by democratic lawmakers, also enjoy support from gun safety advocates.
Specifically, the popular provisions in the legislation would:
Require background checks for every gun purchase (74% NRA member support);
Require background checks on gun shop employees (79% NRA member support);
Prohibit individuals on the terrorist watch list from purchasing firearms (71% NRA member support);
Require gun owners to report to police when their guns are lost or stolen (64% NRA member supports); and
Establish minimum standards for concealed carry permits (63-75% NRA member support for each standard)
Moran continued: “The NRA has an opportunity to be proactive in the face of the Newtown tragedy, playing a constructive role in protecting the public in ways that do not undermine the 2nd Amendment in the eyes of their own membership.”
Currently, there are between 250 million and 300 million guns estimated to be owned by Americans. Each year, approximately 100,000 people in America are shot with a gun, and over 10,000 are murdered using a firearm. According to the Children’s Defense Fund, in 2008 and 2009, 5,740 children — “one child or teen every three hours, eight every day, 55 every week for two years” — were killed by guns.