NRA chief presses Congress on concealed-carry bill

Greg Nash

The head of the nation’s biggest gun rights group urged Congress Friday to pass legislation to allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines.

During the second day of the Conservative Political Action Conference, Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Rifle Association Wayne LaPierre said it’s time for Congress to act and pass the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.

"It's time for Congress to pass national right-to-carry reciprocity for the entire United States," LaPierre declared to cheers from the crowd of thousands of conservatives gathered at the Maryland event.

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynReport: Investor visa program mainly funds wealthy areas GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Conservatives backing Trump keep focus on Supreme Court MORE (R-Texas) is the chief sponsor of the concealed-carry bill in the upper chamber, while Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) is spearheading the push in the House.

Supporters of the legislation — expected to be a top priority for gun rights activists in the current Congress, — believe they can secure enough Democratic votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster and get the legislation to President Obama’s desk.

Still, LaPierre blasted Congress's inaction on firearms issues.

Not only are politicians refusing to protect Americans, LaPierre said, they are denying Americans the ability to protect themselves.

“But you want to know what can protect you when no one else can, when no one else will? The iron-clad safeguard of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms,” he said.

In his speech, LaPierre took a jab at the news media, calling it an industry of liars for failing to report that crime rates are down and for telling readers that Americans needs more restrictions on guns.

“I’ve got news for the media,” he said. “Your first amendment right is not a freedom to kill the second amendment with lies.”

LaPierre said taking away a person's freedom is not a way to strengthen a nation.

“One right depends on another,” he said. “They’re all cut from the same cloth of what it means to be free people and we fight for the entire Bill of Rights because it’s all connected.”