NRA Changes its Position – Wants Better Background Checks, Not Less of Them


by Bob Adelmann


The NRA has changed its position on background checks, or so it says.

Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Associations CEO and PR front man, got lots of airtime responding to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s announcement of his $12 million ad campaign to drum up support for the wave of gun controls washing over the Senate but being resisted by a recalcitrant few, according to Bloomberg. LaPierre said that Bloomberg “can’t spend enough of his $27 billion [of his personal wealth] to impose his will on the American people. He can’t buy America.”

In the same breath he noted that although the NRA once supported background checks, his group now doesn’t, calling them “not fair,” “not accurate,” and “not instant.”

LaPierre is guilty of first degree waffling.

Back in May, 1999, following the horrific shooting at Columbine High School, LaPierre testified before congress that the NRA supported background checks. The group even bought ads which said: “We believe it’s reasonable to provide for instant background checks at gun shows, just like gun stores and pawn shops.” That same month LaPierre spoke at an NRA dinner in South Carolina:

We’ve always supported instant background checks. We say …. you have to draw the line somewhere and I think … we can support a check.

The former president of the NRA, Sandy Froman, said yes.

She said the NRA has “changed its position” but not because it has anything to do with privacy or the Second Amendment or the Fourth Amendment or the Tenth Amendment, but because the present background check system doesn’t work very well and needs to be improved:

Yes, the NRA has changed its position. And the reason it’s changed its position is because the system doesn’t work. The [FBI’s National Instant Checks System] is not working now. We have to get that working before we can add any more checks to that system. (my emphasis)

The NRA is not our friend. It is on the side of Mayor Bloomberg.

It doesn’t want less government intrusion, it just wants better government intrusion!

As my good friend Bill Jasper put it:

The NRA cannot credibly claim to be the defender of the Second Amendment while it simultaneously is trashing the most fundamental concept of our Constitution, which is that the national government in Washington, D.C., has only those “delegated” and “enumerated” powers expressly given to it by the states and the people.

The NRA cannot defend the Second Amendment while trashing the Tenth Amendment and the foundation on which all of the guarantees of our rights under the Constitution are based.

I’m a life member of the NRA.

But the more I read about their waffle the more likely I am to ask them to take me off their list.


A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at

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