With the Obama administration promising to have a comprehensive conversation about gun safety laws in the coming weeks, there’s little doubt the National Rifle Association will be flexing its muscles to lawmakers around the country. But the organization swears that is not the impetus for its upcoming “elected officials-only classroom and range tutorial” where Nevada state legislators will learn about — and use — semi-automatic assault weapons.
In an email obtained by Jon Ralston, the NRA invites lawmakers to a Las Vegas venue called “Battlefield Vegas” to learn more about such firearms. The organization insists that these lessons have long been planned. But, they add, the sessions have an added importance since the Obama administration is now discussing gun laws:
On Saturday, January 19th from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. in Las Vegas, the National Rifle Association will be hosting an elected officials-only classroom and range tutorial on the purpose and practical use of semi-automatic firearms and the differences between semi-automatic and automatic function. Although this invitation is something that has been planned since October of last year to dovetail with the SHOT Show, I’m sure you are aware that this has been a much-discussed issue of late and before the matter of so-called “assault weapons” is debated further, the NRA wanted to create an opportunity for Nevada’s policy makers to examine these firearms firsthand in a secure environment, ask questions, and if desired, shoot them in the indoor range at our host site, Battlefield Vegas. The firearm instructors at Battlefield are the top in their field and will be providing an expert education second to none.
President Obama has floated an assault weapons ban as one of the many legislative steps he’d consider taking to curb gun violence. And while the NRA may try to make assault weapons sound harmless by adding scare quotes and providing legislators with its preferred talking points, studies show that when the ban was in place, such weapons were far less likely to be used in crimes, and that restricting access to assault weapons can help to reduce violent crime.