The president of the National Rifle Association said on Thursday that there was no negotiation with the Obama administration on gun rights in an effort to stem violence in the wake of the shootings at a Connecticut elementary school last month.
“There isn’t on guns,” NRA President David Keene told CNN. “There is not on guns, not that I can see.”
Keene’s remarks came as Vice President Joseph Biden said on Thursday that he saw a growing consensus for the federal government to seek universal background checks for gun buyers and a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines.
But the NRA president did tell CNN that the association could work with the White House in trying to get those who have been determined by law to be mentally ill into a national registry of those who are barred from purchasing firearms.
“That would make a difference, because the people who have been involved in these shootings have been people who are severely mentally ill,” Keene said, referring to the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in which 20 children and six adults died.
“We don’t think you should demonize everybody who’s got a mental problem, but the fact is that there are people who are not in the gray area,” Keene told CNN. “They should not be allowed to buy firearms.”
Earlier on Thursday, the nation’s largest gun lobby said it was “disappointed” at a meeting a representative attended with Biden’s task force seeking solutions to end gun violence in the nation.
The NRA said the session, which included five other gun-rights organizations and other Obama administration officials, amounted to a strategy session on how to thwart the Second Amendment.
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