Some of the gun lobby's strongest allies are breaking with the National Rifle Association to back proposals that would expand background checks for private firearm sales, reports the Washington Post. Gunmakers, dealers, and other Second Amendment advocates have offered support for more instant criminal background checks. President Obama has put a top priority on extending criminal checks to private sales.
The trade group for leading firearm manufacturers will not actively oppose expansion of background checks, which are designed to prevent guns from reaching criminals or the seriously mentally ill. “That's more the NRA's issue,” said Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “From the commercial side, we're already there, and we've been there, and we were the ones that have been the strongest proponents of an effective, complete background check.” A group of big-city mayors wrote to major gun makers, warning that they may use economic leverage to win support for increased regulation, including an extension of background checks. The mayors of Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and other large cities spend millions on firearms and ammunition each year for police departments. “Our residents want to ensure that the tax dollars that are being used to purchase guns for our police departments are going to manufacturers that share our values and support our strategies,” Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, who leads the National Conference of Democratic Mayors, wrote to Glock and the NSSF.