NRA Increases Anti-Gun Control Pressure

Thursday, 07 Mar 2013 11:03 AM

By Cyrus Afzali

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The National Rifle Association and other opponents of additional gun control laws are taking their fight to Capitol Hill Thursday as senators begin considering legislation that includes universal background checks.

Politico reported that several gun lobbyists are watching the Judiciary Committee’s markup meeting set for Thursday, although the real battle is likely to begin on the Senate floor, where a number of amendments are expected to be offered.

The NRA has also been meeting with Senate Republicans, asking them to consider including provisions for armed guards at schools and beefing up the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

The NRA, as well as the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Gun Owners of America, are facing what many view as the best-funded effort by proponents of expanded gun control in years. In addition to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, other well-funded groups include Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Americans for Responsible Solutions, a super PAC founded by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was wounded by a gunman during a constituent event in January 2011.

Gun Owners of America is focusing on Oklahoma, as it works to motivate voters to call Republican Sen. Tom Coburn’s office in an effort to convince him not to join Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Joe Manchin of West Virginia in supporting new gun restrictions. Talks between Coburn. of Oklahoma, and Schumer broke down on Wednesday.

Giffords’ group is targeting Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Jeff Flake of Arizona, as well as Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa and Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain.

The fight is also extending to the state level, as the National Shooting Sportsman’s Foundation is running three statewide ads in Connecticut playing up the economic benefits brought by Colt, Mossberg, and Stag Arms, all of which are based in the state.

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