WASHINGTON – The president of the National Rifle Association expressed confidence Sunday that Congress will not pass a new ban on assault weapons, a major aim of gun-control proponents after last month’s killing of 20 schoolchildren in Connecticut.
“I would say that the likelihood is that they are not going to be able to get assault weapons ban through this Congress,” David Keene said on CNN’s “State Of The Union.”
Keene’s comments came two days before Vice President Joe Biden was expected to issue recommendations to President Barack Obama on reducing gun violence.
Biden’s focus has been on requiring universal background checks for gun sales and on limiting sales of high-capacity ammunition clips, but administration officials have indicated that a ban on assault weapons could also be proposed. Obama has endorsed renewing such a ban, which was passed by Congress in 1994 but expired a decade later.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., disagreed with Keene’s assessment that the current Congress would not take action on assault weapons.
“No, I think he’s wrong,” Murphy said on CNN. Saying that he believed such a ban would have prevented the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Murphy said: “Newtown fundamentally changed things. The NRA doesn’t get this.”