The Washington Times - January 16, 2013, 03:02PM

The National Rifle Association said Wednesday it looks forward to working on a bipartisan basis with Congress “to find real solutions to protecting America’s most valuable asset — our children.”

“The NRA will continue to focus on keeping our children safe and securing our schools, fixing our broken mental health system and prosecuting violent criminals to the fullest extent of the law,” the statement read. “Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation. Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected, and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy.”


Mr. Obama said Wednesday in outlining proposals to combat gun violence that “our first task as a society [is] keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged. And their voices should compel us to change.”

“If there’s even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there’s even one life we can save, we have an obligation to try it,” Mr. Obama said.

Meanwhile, another gun owners group, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said in response to Mr. Obama’s proposals — which include a ban on military-style, so-called assault weapons and a limit on ammunition clips to 10 rounds of ammunition — that it is reviewing the recommendations “with an open mind in hopes they will offer real means of achieving our shared goal.”

“The central issue involved in violence where a firearm is misused is the unauthorized access to the firearm,” the group said in a statement. “We believe it is critical to first focus on the unauthorized access to firearms by irresponsible persons and those not legally qualified to possess them. We support immediate improvements to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) that will bring all appropriate mental health and other records, such as restraining orders, into the NICS system. Fixing NICS must be among the highest priorities in order to help further prevent illegal purchases of firearms from federally licensed retailers.”

The group said it has long supported and is initiating an expanded safety campaign to promote and secure responsible storage of firearms and ammunition when they’re not being used.

“We believe the personal responsibility of gun owners, especially if there are children or at-risk individuals in the home, is central to any meaningful discussion of the issues,” the statement continued. “The NSSF will continue to lend its expertise to this important national conversation and the accompanying legislative and policy-making processes. We do so respecting the various points of views represented in these discussions.”