Why is the National Rifle Association Opposed to Tighter Gun Control?
January 7, 2019
When the NRA backed the National Reciprocity Act and opposed the proposed “Fix NICs “ bill, the association did so for two separate reasons. The National Reciprocity Act in fact pushes for a national policy regarding concealed carry. The NRA has long advocated for this.
“Fix NICs” bill pushes for a tighter way to enforce the rules of its predecessor, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. This law states that anyone selling guns to any buyer—except a relative or a member of law enforcement—must check to ensure the potential buyer is not on the database. Who should be on this database? Those whom the system says are dangerous and should not possess a firearm. Included are: convicted criminals, those who have been committed to mental institutions, people who have received dishonorable discharges, and drug addicts.
NRA opposes this database and particularly the fact that as a seller you must check this list and as a buyer you had better not be on the list. They see the database and the checking as being time consuming and punitive.
Somewhere their position has been spun into the belief that NRA members are opposed to tighter gun control.
In actual fact, most concealed carriers are in favor of tighter gun control. In a recent poll, most Americans favored stricter gun regulations. This included a majority of the National Rifle Association.
Does this automatically suggest stiffer background checks? Nearly 70% of NRA members expressed supported comprehensive background checks.
The change with “Fix NICs” is a move to implement national background checks for all gun sales—not just those sold by licensed retailers.
Almost 90% of those who do not own a firearm support national background checks.
After every mass shooting, the cry goes out for tighter gun control. Comprehensive background checks are naturally more popular when such high profile events occur.
Only half of gun owners—whether NRA members or nonmembers—back a national gun registry.
Even though there is significant support for gun control regulations, the American government has moved slowly on passing new laws regulating firearms.
Surprisingly changes to firearms policy are being initiated by big retail chains like Walmart, LL Bean and Dick’s Sporting Goods. They have indicated that they are willing to stop sales of firearms to those under twenty-one. This is in response to the recent Florida shooting by a nineteen-year-old.
It seems there are two issues at stake here. Parties appear to be split about gun control measures. On the other hand, having background checks has gained widespread support.
NRA members strongly opposed gun registry. One of their major concerns is that by increasing background checks and/or implementing a national firearms purchase registry this data may well be misused to track other activities.
One avid gun owner who was trained by the NRA and whose father was an active NRA member takes exception to the NRA stance. He accuses the NRA of having lost its moral compass. He says it started with Charlton Heston as president of the NRA in early 2000. Under Heston’s unprecedented five-term presidency, the NRA shifted from working with lawmakers to defend the Second Amendment rights. The NRA has instead become front-line crusaders against anything the government attempts to do to change the status quo. Is it paranoia on the part of the NRA or are they being solicitous watch dogs of Second Amendment rights before it is too late?