National Riffle Association President David Keen has rejected an outline of gun policy regulations proposed by Vice President Joe Biden and flatly opposed any legislation that bans assault riffles and high-capacity magazines.
“We don’t think any of those things work,” Keen said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “You should absolutely be able to compromise on things that accomplish the purpose. Our objection to those things is that they interfere with people’s rights without doing anything to solve the problem.”
In response to last year’s mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the NRA and Biden met last week to discuss solutions to US gun control issues. However, the group was not impressed, saying the meeting did not offer valid solutions on ways to keep children safe at school.
On Tuesday, Biden who also oversees the Obama administration’s newly created taskforce on gun control, is set to deliver a series proposals that will address how to combat gun violence. Based on reports, the proposal will include banning of assault weapons and make requiring more comprehensive background checks a priority.
Keen, however, said that the focus should be more on mental health than banning weapons. He suggested that those who have mental illnesses should be put on a list and not allowed to purchase guns. He didn’t comment on the NRA’s first suggestion, which was placing armed guards in schools.
Keen, predicts that it’s going to be difficult to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines and said that he’s confident that he has enough support to stop suggested legislation from passing.
“They are not going to be able to get an assault weapons ban through Congress,” Keene said, adding that even outlawing high-capacity magazines would be difficult.
“The fact is that we live in a society where first of all, we have constitutional rights, and secondly, there are millions upon millions of Americans who value the rights that they have under the Second Amendment and who are involved in the shooting sports or use firearms for self-defense, and we think that they will be heard.”