NRA: We'll Fight Universal Background Checks

Assault-weapons ban odds: 'very, very small'

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 31, 2013 3:05 AM CST

(Newser) – The NRA plans to oppose mandatory background checks on all gun purchases, its president tells USA Today yesterday, rejecting one of the most popular proposals on gun control: the closure of loopholes allowing gun-show purchases without background checks. If the measure, which polls with 85% support, can't get through, prospects for other new rules look bleaker, the paper suggests. Would the NRA call on legislators to oppose such a requirement? "If it came up today, yes," said president David Keene.

Keene saw a less than 50% chance the measure would pass Congress. "But it has a better chance (than an assault-weapons ban) because it sounds reasonable," he noted. The likelihood of that ban? "Very, very small," he said. Still, he offered a "caveat": "When you get in a battle with the president of the United States, if he's willing to spend political capital, you'd be foolish to ... bet against him." But with other things on his plate, President Obama isn't likely to push as hard for the ban as Bill Clinton did, Keene said.

National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre testifies on Capitol Hill, Wed., Jan. 30, 2013.
National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre testifies on Capitol Hill, Wed., Jan. 30, 2013.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
In this Dec. 21, 2012, file photo, NRA president David Keene speaks during a news conference in response to the Connecticut school shooting in Washington.
In this Dec. 21, 2012, file photo, NRA president David Keene speaks during a news conference in response to the Connecticut school shooting in Washington.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)
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