Here is the transcript:Piers Morgan could learn how to demand an answer from Senator Leahy.
LEAHY: Do you still, as you did in 1999, still support mandatory background checks at gun shows? Yes or no?Read the exchange again. When LaPierre eventually gets to the point of answering the question, after three attempts by Leahy, the head of the NRA has changed the subject. Instead of talking about non-dealer gun show sales, he starts talking about the failure of the federal government to prosecute criminals after they have been denied an opportunity to purchase a gun. Because of this, he says, the background system of dealers, which he still supports, failing, and therefore should not be extended. The argument is not entirely logical. (He admits the dealer checks are effective in preventing gun sales, even if criminals are not prosecuted for their attempts.) But it is textbook LaPierre.
LAPIERRE: We supported the National Instant Check System on dealers. I — we were here when Senator Birch Bayh, one of your colleagues, held the hearings in terms of who would be a dealer and who would be required to have a license. If you did it for livelihood and profit, yes. If you were a hobbyist, then no.
LEAHY: Let’s make — let’s make it easier, though. I’m talking about gun shows. Should we have mandatory background checks at gun shows for sales of weapons?
LAPIERRE: If you’re a dealer, that’s already the law. If you’re talking…
LEAHY: That’s not my question. Please, Mr. LaPierre, I’m not trying to play games here. But, if you could, just answer my question.
LAPIERRE: Senator, I do not believe the way the law is working now, unfortunately, that it does any good to extend the law to private sales between hobbyists and collectors.
LEAHY: OK, so you do not support mandatory background checks in all instances at gun shows?
LAPIERRE: We do not, because the fact is, the law right now is a failure the way it’s working. The fact is, you have 76,000-some people that have been denied under the present law. Only 44 were prosecuted. You’re letting them go. They’re walking the streets.
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