Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, told a Senate committee on Wednesday that new proposals to ban assault weapons and increase background checks on gun buyers were not likely to solve the problem of gun violence.
The Washington Post reports LaPierre, who has served as the NRA’s proud and combative face in Washington for years, was subdued — for him — during his appearance Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He spoke after an emotional appearance by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was grievously wounded in a shooting two years before, and after testimony by Giffords’ husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly.
But LaPierre firmly rejected two ideas that have been suggested to prevent gun violence in the aftermath of mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., and at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. An assault weapons ban, he said, would target some of the most popular guns on the market. And, he said, studies have found that an earlier ban on the weapons had “no impact on lowering crime.”