- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president and CEO of the National Rifle Association, says in a video that without the NRA there would be no federal instant checks and that expanding a broken system won’t fix the problem.

Mr. LaPierre said 38 states submit less than 80 percent of their felony convictions into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, leaving more than 7 million felony convictions “in the dark.”

“The only thing the average American has heard about background checks is the absolute fallacy that what we need is more,” Mr. LaPierre said in the video. “The system is only as good as the records within it, and the records only get submitted if the politicians demand it.”

The video was released Tuesday — the same day President Obama announced executive actions intended to expand background checks and increase the reporting of records to the NICS.

“The best-kept secret is that the National Instant Check System wouldn’t exist at all if it weren’t for the NRA,” Mr. LaPierre said. “It’s true. Back in the ‘90s, President Clinton forced passage of a mandatory waiting period on every handgun purchase in America. Not a background check — a wait.

“But NRA said as soon as the technology was available, their wait had to be replaced by an instant background check, done by the dealer, at the point of sale,” he said. “NRA supported it, NRA got the votes and NRA got it passed.”

In 2010, he said, about 80,000 prohibited people committed felonies by trying to buy guns and just 44 were prosecuted.

“Does that sound like a good number to anybody?” he asked.

“So when you hear politicians who won’t fix the broken system talk about expanding it, don’t buy it,” Mr. LaPierre said. “Demand what works. Put armed security in every school. Fix the broken mental health system. Enforce the federal gun laws against every criminal thug on the street. Prosecute dangerous people when they show up to buy a gun. And for God’s sake, put every prohibited person into the system. That’s what common-sense gun laws look like.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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