By Tim Devaney - 01/05/16 02:15 PM EST
The National Rifle Association (NRA) is ripping President Obama's emotional plea for action against gun violence, calling his remarks “condescending.”
Obama’s “contempt for the Second Amendment” is turning law-abiding gun owners into “scapegoats” for mass shootings, the NRA’s top lobbyist said Tuesday in a statement.
“The men and women of the National Rifle Association take a back seat to no one when it comes to keeping our communities safe,” Cox continued. “But the fact is that President Obama’s proposals would not have prevented any of the horrific events he mentioned.”
Obama on Tuesday unveiled new executive actions that he said are aimed at stopping the next mass shooting. Among the actions is new guidance from the Justice Department that requires more gun dealers to conduct background checks, including online sellers.
"We’ve created a system in which dangerous people are allowed to play by a different set of rules than a responsible gun owner who buys his or her gun the right way and subjects themselves to a background check," Obama said from the White House. "That doesn’t make sense. Everybody should have to abide by the same rules."
Gun control activists say the expansion of the requirement will help keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous people. But the NRA says it is concerned that people buying guns are being unfairly singled out for extra scrutiny.
"The proposed executive actions are ripe for abuse by the Obama Administration, which has made no secret of its contempt for the Second Amendment," Cox said.
The NRA’s position on background checks has hardened over the last two decades. Following the mass shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, the NRA’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, seemed to support such a move.
“We think it’s reasonable to provide mandatory instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show,” LaPierre told a House Judiciary subcommittee in May 1999. “No loopholes anywhere for anyone.”
“This isn’t new, or a change of position, or a concession,” he added. “I’ve been on record on this point consistently.”