Assault rifles are displayed during the NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits in Phoenix, Arizona May 15, 2009. (Photo : Reuters)
A former president of the National Rifle Association said yesterday during a CNN interview that the organization reversed its support for universal background checks because the "the sytsem doesn't work."
"Yes, the NRA has changed its position," said Sandy Froman, current member of the NRA's board of directors and former NRA president, during a debate that aired on AC360. "And the reason its changed its position is because the system doesn't work."
Forman's statements come fourteen years after the NRA endorsed universal background checks and only months after a gunman massacred 26 people, including 20 school children, in Newtown, Conneticut. The tragedy has sparked a debate about strengthening the nation's gun laws and polls show a majority of Americas support stiffer gun legislation.
But, the NRA is holding its ground, as Forman claims the country isn't prepared to implement universal background checks successfully.
"We have to get that working before we can add any more checks to that system. It's already overburdened," she said. "Let's get it working. Let's make sure the 23 states that aren't reporting the names of people who are mentally ill and have violent tendencies, let's get those reported and into the system and then we can take a look."
Dan Gross, President of Brady's Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, who also attended the debate, responded to Foreman's remarks by arguing that universal background checks should be passed into law now, regardless of the nation's background check enforcement.
"I don't understand why you can't do both," He said. "The reality is yes regarding the 60 percent of gun sales that require background checks are there things that we can do to improve that? Yes. Should we be committed to it, should we invest resources in it? Yes."