Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Testimony of Wayne LaPierre Before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary Hearing on "What Should America Do About Gun Violence?"

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

TESTIMONY OF WAYNE LAPIERRE
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
BEFORE THE U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HEARING ON “WHAT SHOULD AMERICA DO ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE?”
216 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING
JANUARY 30, 2013

 

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:

It's an honor to be here today on behalf of more than 4.5 million moms and dads and sons and daughters, in every state across our nation, who make up the National Rifle Association of America. Those 4.5 million active members are joined by tens of millions of NRA supporters.

And it’s on behalf of those millions of decent, hardworking, law-abiding citizens … to give voice to their concerns … that I'm here today.

The title of today’s hearing is "What should America do about gun violence?"

We believe the answer to that question is to be honest about what works – and what doesn’t work.

Teaching safe and responsible gun ownership works – and the NRA has a long and proud history of teaching it.

Our "Eddie Eagle" children’s safety program has taught over 25 million young children that if they see a gun, they should do four things: “Stop. Don’t touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult.” As a result of this and other private sector programs, fatal firearm accidents are at the lowest levels in more than 100 years.[1]

The NRA has over 80,000 certified instructors who teach our military personnel, law enforcement officers and hundreds of thousands of other American men and women how to safely use firearms. We do more – and spend more – than anyone else on teaching safe and responsible gun ownership.

We joined the nation in sorrow over the tragedy that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut.  There is nothing more precious than our children. We have no more sacred duty than to protect our children and keep them safe.  That’s why we asked former Congressman and Undersecretary of Homeland Security, Asa Hutchison, to bring in every expert available to develop a model School Shield Program – one that can be individually tailored to make our schools as safe as possible. 

It's time to throw an immediate blanket of security around our children.  About a third of our schools have armed security already – because it works.[2] And that number is growing. Right now, state officials, local authorities and school districts in all 50 states are considering their own plans to protect children in their schools.

In addition, we need to enforce the thousands of gun laws that are currently on the books. Prosecuting criminals who misuse firearms works. Unfortunately, we’ve seen a dramatic collapse in federal gun prosecutions in recent years. Overall in 2011, federal weapons prosecutions per capita were down 35 percent from their peak in the previous administration.[3] That means violent felons, gang members and the mentally ill who possess firearms are not being prosecuted. And that’s unacceptable.

And out of more than 76,000 firearms purchases denied by the federal instant check system, only 62 were referred for prosecution and only 44 were actually prosecuted.[4] Proposing more gun control laws – while failing to enforce the thousands we already have – is not a serious solution to reducing crime.

I think we can also agree that our mental health system is broken. We need to look at the full range of mental health issues, from early detection and treatment, to civil commitment laws, to privacy laws that needlessly prevent mental health records from being included in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

While we're ready to participate in a meaningful effort to solve these pressing problems, we must respectfully – but honestly and firmly – disagree with some members of this committee, many in the media, and all of the gun control groups on what will keep our kids and our streets safe.

Law-abiding gun owners will not accept blame for the acts of violent or deranged criminals. Nor do we believe the government should dictate what we can lawfully own and use to protect our families.

As I said earlier, we need to be honest about what works and what does not work. Proposals that would only serve to burden the law-abiding have failed in the past and will fail in the future.

Semi-automatic firearms have been around for over 100 years.  They are among the most popular guns made for hunting, target shooting and self-defense. Despite this fact, Congress banned the manufacture and sale of hundreds of semi-automatic firearms and magazines from 1994 to 2004. Independent studies, including a study from the Clinton Justice Department, proved that ban had no impact on lowering crime.[5]

And when it comes to the issue of background checks, let’s be honest – background checks will never be “universal” – because criminals will never submit to them.

But there are things that can be done and we ask you to join with us.  The NRA is made up of millions of Americans who support what works … the immediate protection for all – not just some – of our school children; swift, certain prosecution of criminals with guns; and fixing our broken mental health system.

We love our families and our country.  We believe in our freedom.  We’re the millions of Americans from all walks of life who take responsibility for our own safety and protection as a God-given, fundamental right. 

Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I thank you for your time and consideration.


[1] Pre-1981 data from National Safety Council, Accident Facts (annual); 1981 forward from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, available at http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/fatal_injury_reports.html.

[2] Gary Fields et al., NRA Calls for Arms in School, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 22, 2012, available at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324461604578193364201364432.html.

[3] Calculated from U.S. Department of Justice data available through Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, http://tracfed.syr.edu.

[4] Ronald J. Frandsen, Enforcement of the Brady Act, 2010: Federal and State Investigations and Prosecutions of Firearm Applicants Denied by a NICS Check in 2010 , available at https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/bjs/grants/239272.pdf.

[5] Jeffrey A. Roth & Christopher S. Koper, “Impact Evaluation of the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act of 1994, (1997), available at http://www.sas.upenn.edu/jerrylee/research/aw_ban.htm.

IN THIS ARTICLE
Wayne LaPierre
TRENDING NOW
Gun Grabbers Demand Unprecedented “Executive Actions”

News  

Monday, November 23, 2020

Gun Grabbers Demand Unprecedented “Executive Actions”

Biden was supposedly the point man for the gun control push Barack Obama launched during his second term. Obama has made a point of repeatedly emphasizing how lack of “progress” on gun control was the most frustrating and anger-inducing aspect ...

Delaware: Court Strikes Down Ban on Hunting with Semi-Autos

Friday, November 20, 2020

Delaware: Court Strikes Down Ban on Hunting with Semi-Autos

Today, the Delaware Superior Court issued its decision in the NRA-backed DSSA v. Garvin case, striking down the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) regulations that banned hunting deer with semi-automatic rifles.

Anti-gun Politicians Seek to Tax Your Second Amendment Rights Into Oblivion

News  

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Anti-gun Politicians Seek to Tax Your Second Amendment Rights Into Oblivion

In 1819, Chief Justice John Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court famously wrote:  “the power to tax involves the power to destroy ….”

BATFE Leadership Push Biden to Target Pistol Stabilizing Braces and Unfinished Receivers

News  

Monday, November 16, 2020

BATFE Leadership Push Biden to Target Pistol Stabilizing Braces and Unfinished Receivers

Just in case anyone needed further proof that much of the federal bureaucracy is more interested in serving themselves and left-wing political interests than public service, news broke this week that rogue elements of Bureau ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

A Government of Laws, Not of Men

News  

Monday, November 23, 2020

A Government of Laws, Not of Men

Justice Samuel Alito of the United States Supreme Court released a keynote address for a Federalist Society event. Speaking on “The Declination of Individual Liberty,” he discussed the alarming erosion of our fundamental constitutional rights – notably, ...

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Want to Destroy the Second Amendment

News  

Monday, November 2, 2020

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Want to Destroy the Second Amendment

While discussion of the Second Amendment and gun control have been noticeably absent from the presidential debates and mainstream media coverage, gun rights are without a doubt on the ballot tomorrow.

Gallup: Support for Gun Control has Dropped and It’s Not a Priority for Americans

News  

Monday, November 23, 2020

Gallup: Support for Gun Control has Dropped and It’s Not a Priority for Americans

After a year of COVID uncertainty, civil unrest, and record gun sales, support for further firearms restrictions has reached its lowest point since 2016. Moreover, the data shows that exceedingly few Americans consider additional gun controls the ...

Record Amount of Gun Control Legislation Introduced on First Day of Bill Pre-Filing for 2021 Texas Legislative Session

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Record Amount of Gun Control Legislation Introduced on First Day of Bill Pre-Filing for 2021 Texas Legislative Session

Although the 2021 session of the Texas Legislature convenes on January 12, gun control advocates financed by New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg and Beto "Hell Yeah, I'll Take Your Guns" O'Rourke wasted no time in announcing their ...

Spiking Interest in Hunting Due to Pandemic?

News  

Hunting  

Monday, November 23, 2020

Spiking Interest in Hunting Due to Pandemic?

Americans have been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic for the vast majority of 2020, and depending on what state one lives in, the impact on daily life has varied from relatively benign to approaching draconian. ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.