- The Washington Times - Friday, February 23, 2018

National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch said Friday that her organization supports strengthening background checks through a more integrated system.

“Politicians need to, right now, call for states to fully submit all convictions to the National Crime Information Center,” Ms. Loesch said on CNN.

“Right now, 38 states submit less than 80 percent of records. That means — do the math — there are 7 million prohibited possessors out there right now. We could stop that. We could fix that right now. We’ve been calling for that at the NRA for over 25 years,” she added.

Ms. Loesch also said the NRA had asked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to look into a ban on bump stocks — the mechanism that turns a semi-automatic rifle into an automatic weapon — prior to the shooting in Las Vegas last year. The gunman in that case reportedly used a bump stock to carry out the crime. 

She was also asked about her statement at the Conservative Political Action Committee on Thursday where she said some in the media enjoy mass shootings because they’re “ratings gold.” She stood by the comments, suggesting the coverage of these shootings is sensationalized for television.

The NRA spokeswoman said the town hall she participated in with CNN didn’t seem to facilitate a substantive discussion, but said she understood emotions were still high after the mass shooting at a Florida high school just over a week ago.

“I do think that maybe perhaps the way the network was hosting the discussion, it didn’t seem that the network perhaps intended for it to be geared toward discussion,” Ms. Loesch said.

She participated in that town hall amid heated questions from the crowd and accusations that the NRA is a “terrorist organization.” The tragedy at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 people dead in Parkland, Florida. The suspected gunman, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, carried an AR-15, according to law enforcement.

He was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and is being held without bond.

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