United States Sen. Chris Murphy released a new report Monday that he said uncovers a divide between National Rifle Association leadership and American gun owners.
According to the report, NRA members and gun owners overwhelmingly support reasonable gun control measures, such as background checks, to try and reduce gun violence.
"They are way out ahead of reality," Murphy said during a conference call Monday.
Murphy said a report done in-house by his staff speaks for itself. After questioning nearly 1,000 NRA members and gun owners, he said that 74 percent of the group's members support universal criminal background checks and 85 percent of gun owners support background checks for all private gun sales, including gun shows.
Murphy said the NRA is beholden not to its members but the gun manufacturers, who contribute lots of money.
As an NRA member, Dennis Golden said he feels universal background checks are the most reasonable of the proposals, but feels some of the other ideas such as banning large magazines won't stop gun violence.
"Anytime you have emotions on either side - there can't be a correct decision," said Golden, who is a president of Metacon Gun Club in Simsbury. "But if we can sit down and talk about what will really work."
He said his report shows a number of other areas in which NRA leadership acts in contrast with the beliefs of members and exposes how it has increasingly represented the firearms industry instead.
"The NRA's leadership continues to demonstrate just how out of step they are with the American public, their own membership and reality in general," Murphy said in a statement. "NRA members and responsible gun owners across the country want to ensure the safety of our children and our communities and support common sense measures to reduce gun violence. Universal background checks - which the overwhelming majority of NRA members support - will make our city streets safer, and a ban on military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines will prevent future mass shootings. I hope more and more gun owners realize that the NRA's leadership has become unhinged from the responsible gun owners across America the NRA claims to represent."
Murphy has been an active leader on anti-gun violence initiatives. He recently joined six members of Congress to introduce the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013, legislation that would ban certain military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
To read the report, click here.
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