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NRA's LaPierre, Giffords And Husband To Lay Out Different Views On Gun Laws
Wed, 30 Jan 2013 07:15:00 -0500
(9:50 a.m. ET: We've updated the top of this post with the latest news.)
Saying that he and his wife, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, are "pro-gun ownership" but "anti-gun violence," Mark Kelley will tell the Senate Judiciary Committee today that laws on background checks for gun owners need to be tightened. He'll also say, according to the former astronaut's prepared testimony, that a line needs to be drawn that "protects our [gun] rights and communities alike" as lawmakers look to regulate semi-automatic assault-style rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
At the same hearing on gun violence, National Rifle Association CEO Wayne Pierre will say that "proposing more gun control laws — while failing to enforce the thousands that we already have — is not a serious solution to reducing crime," according to his prepared testimony.
As we reported earlier, the committee is also expected to hear from Giffords herself. Six people were killed, and another 13 — including the then-congresswoman — were wounded, when a gunman attacked an event she was holding in Tucson in January 2011.
We'll be monitoring the hearing, which comes in the aftermath of last year's mass shootings in Connecticut and Colorado, and update with highlights.
Our original post:
The national debate over gun laws that has taken on added urgency since last year's mass shootings at an elementary school in Connecticut and a movie theater in Colorado takes center stage on Capitol Hill today.
Mark Kelly, husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) will talk with the Senate Judiciary Committee about the January 2011 shooting in Tucson that left six people dead and another 13, including the congresswoman, severely injured.
In an email to supporters of the political action committee that he and Giffords have established, ABC News reports that Kelly says "overwhelmingly, you told us that universal background checks and limiting access to high capacity magazines were top priorities — and I'll make sure to address each of those ideas in my opening remarks."
(8:05 a.m. ET: The Washington Post now reports that Giffords herself is expected to "testify alone at a witness table and take no questions from senators" before her husband comes to the microphone.)
On the other side of the debate, National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre plans to tell the lawmakers why the NRA opposes a ban on assault-style weapons, high-capacity magazine clips and other proposed changes in gun laws. "We need to be honest about what works and what does not work. Proposals that would only serve to burden the law-abiding have failed in the past and will fail in the future," he says in prepared remarks sent to news organizations.
LaPierre will also say that the government should not "dictate what we can lawfully own and use to protect our families," NPR's Brian Naylor reports.
Among the committee's members is Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who has prepared legislation that would reinstate the ban on assault-style weapons that expired in 2004.
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
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