As the U.S. Senate prepares to consider a package of gun violence prevention proposals next week, the National Rifle Association has moved into full campaign mode, fighting against reforms backed by 91 percent of the American public. The group’s lobbying arm sent members an “Emergency Action Alert” Wednesday, attempting to scare gun owners into thinking closing background check loopholes would turn them into criminals.
The message warns:
Next week, your Senators are scheduled to vote on a so-called “universal background check” bill being pushed by lifelong anti-gun zealot, Senator Chuck Schumer. Schumer’s bill would MAKE YOU A CRIMINAL if you simply transfer a firearm to an aunt, uncle, cousin or lifelong friend without the federal government’s approval.
The NRA’s slippery-slope fear-mongering continues: “This isn’t about making Americans safer…it’s about leading law-abiding gun owners down the road to gun registration – and ultimately, GUN CONFISCATION – just like we watched happen in England and Australia.” The email then asks readers to call their Senators — and send the NRA money.
The group supported universal background checks as recently as 1999 — and 74 percent of its membership supports the idea now. Even former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR), head of the NRA’s school security task force, has endorsed the idea of expanding background checks.
Universal background checks would not require the federal government’s “approval” for anything — it would demand that all gun sellers act responsibly and ensure that their firearms don’t fall into the wrong hands. The legislation before the Senate exempts transfers to immediate family members, but would require other private transfers to undergo a speedy background check to ensure they are not in the NICS database.
Federal law prohibits the creation of a national gun registry and the Supreme Court has made clear that “gun confiscation” would be unconstitutional.