NRA position on background checks has changed, board member affirms

NRA position on background checks has changed, board member affirms
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POSTED: Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 1:40pm

UPDATED: Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 7:47pm

A past president and current board member of the National Rifle Association affirmed Thursday that the organization has changed its position on background checks for gun sales in recent years.

Sandy Froman said Thursday in a town hall on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" that the organization has changed its position since the organization's executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, testified before the House Judiciary Committee in 1999.

CNN's Anderson Cooper quoted LaPierre's 1999 testimony to Froman: "we think it's reasonable to provide mandatory instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show, no loopholes for anyone."

"The answer, Anderson, is yes," she responded. "The NRA has changed its position and the reason it's changed its position is because the system doesn't work."

Those differences have come to light in the recent gun debate.

In his testimony Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, LaPierre said: "And when it comes to background checks, let's be honest. Background checks will never be universal because criminals will never submit to them."

The 1999 hearings, he said, were to discuss "who would be a dealer and who would be required to have a license. If you did it for livelihood and profit, yes. If you were a hobbyist, then no."

LaPierre was pressed on his current view by committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, who chastised the witness, saying, "if you could, just answer my question."

Leahy then asked LaPierre directly, "Now you do not support background checks for all buyers of firearms?"

"I think the National Instant Check System, the way it's working now, is a failure because this administration is not prosecuting the people that they catch," he responded. "Twenty three states are not even putting the mental records of those adjudicated mentally incompetent into the system."

Froman is a trustee and director of the NRA, and served as president from 2005 through 2007. She has also held a variety of other positions with the organization. Her advocacy for gun rights began after an unsuccessful burglary attempt on her home, according to her bio.
 

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