The National Rifle Association is so adamant that law-abiding citizens be able to purchase firearms unfettered that it is unwilling to support changing the law to keep terror suspects from buying guns, says the Houston Chronicle. “When people are in fear and there’s a threat, they run back to the Second Amendment because they feel more secure and more in control of their destiny if they have a firearm to protect themselves,” says NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre. Terrorism suspects passed background checks to purchase guns legally 35 times during a five-month period, the U.S. Government Accountability Office has reported.
LaPierre objects to gun registration, or even keeping gun-sale records for more than 24 hours because, he says, doing so would put firearms owners in danger of having the government confiscate their weapons. “Unless you’re going to tax them or take them, it’s pointless,” he said. “You’d know all the good guys. They’re the only ones that register them. The criminals laugh at that.” A former official of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the NRA is obstructing the ability of law enforcement to crack down on the dealers who sell weapons to criminals. ATF says 60 percent of the guns used in crime can be traced back to 4 percent of the nation’s gun dealers. By shutting down shady dealers, police could stop many illegal gun sales, said Gerald Nunziato, the former head of ATF’s National Tracing Center. He now is a partner in Crime Gun Solutions, a firm that consults with local law enforcement groups to try to prevent gun violence.