The head of the National Rifle Association vowed to fight new gun legislation and renewed his call for armed guards in schools on Thursday, speaking before the National Wild Turkey Federation's annual convention at Gaylord Opryland Hotel.
CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre heavily criticized
President Barack Obama's State of the Union address for not mentioning
LaPierre told the crowd of more than 600 wild turkey hunters and conservationists that Obama's proposals
to ban military-style semiautomatic rifles and magazines that hold more
than 10 bullets, and to require background checks for all gun sales,
are efforts to "dismantle" the Second Amendment.
He said the president's initiatives were not about making schools safer.
And he said NRA members will fight those proposals.
our Second Amendment freedom, Mr. President, we will stand and fight
throughout this country as Americans for our freedom, we promise you
that," LaPierre said to applause. "Every single one of us from one end
of the country to the other, we will stand and fight."
also repeated the claim that pending legislation would lead to the
registration of all guns. But that claim that has been widely criticized
since the president has not proposed such a measure and federal laws prohibit background check information from being retained for more than 24 hours.
gonna be our names, the names of good people, that will be put into
this massive database, subject to federal legislation and subject to
abuse of your privacy," LaPierre said.
The NRA's leader also renewed calls to put armed guards or police
officers in every school, something that Obama also is proposing in the
form of more funds for school resources officers.
speech, National Wild Turkey Federation CEO George Thornton applauded
LaPierre's speech, saying that he worried that any new gun regulations
would lead down the path of fewer gun rights.
"We're also very
concerned about the movement in the United States to limit access to
weapons," he said. Once you start to limit things, the limits begin to
Enforce current laws
He acknowledged that turkey hunters don't use military-style rifles.
And he supports universal background checks. But instead of new laws, he
said the federal government needs to do a better job of enforcing
"I support all the legislation that we have now," he said.
Sentell, a Dyersburg hunter and state turkey federation board member,
said the proposed legislation is "destroying our Second Amendment, one
inch at a time."
"Semi-automatics are needed across the country
for home protection or sports," he said. "If they're successful at doing
that, then they can take the rest of them away."