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Comey says the National Rifle Association ‘sells fear’

Former FBI Director James Comey accused the National Rifle Association (NRA) of selling fear, in an interview published June 26.

The ex-FBI chief made the remarks in a June 22 interview with iNews a day after delivering remarks before 2,000 people in London to highlight the release of his memoir, "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership." The news article was published June 26.

"One of the worst things that goes on in the US is the current voice of the National Rifle Association, because it sells fear in the wake of any incident," Comey said.

"I'm comfortable around guns. I own guns," Comey said. "Surely there are things we can agree upon that relate to who is able to buy a weapon, what kind of weapon and at what age, what the capabilities of the weapon are, how many rounds does it hold, and things like that, that in no way threaten the rights under the U.S. Constitution of people to keep and bear arms." 

He went on to note what he called the largest gun sale month in the history of the United States, which he says was the month after the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012.

"The reason gun sales spiked to incredible rates after that is the NRA turned around in the wake of that and said, 'They're coming for your guns.' They sold fear to the American people," Comey said. "Their constant argument is: 'It's a slippery slope. If we restrict a particular kind of weapon or raise the age of purchase, it means the end of gun ownership in the U.S.' And that argument is a lie." 

Comey, who was fired by President Trump in May 2017 during the FBI's investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Trump's presidential campaign, criticized the NRA in the wake of recent mass shootings earlier this year.

While delivering remarks at a book event in May, the former FBI chief accused the gun association of selling "fear" to gun owners. He also said he would support "reasonable restrictions" to gun laws, and he criticized the idea that gun control measures are a "slippery slope."

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