WASHINGTON — Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., has launched another chapter in his continuing diatribe against the National Rifle Association, issuing a report that he said shows “a disconnect” between gun owners and NRA leaders when it comes to gun violence.
In the aftermath of the Dec. 14 mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Murphy and other lawmakers have introduced legislation that would ban military-style assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines.
Murphy also supports universal background checks on would-be gun buyers to weed out individuals with criminal records, restraining orders or those who have been adjudicated mentally ill.
The NRA has taken an absolutist stance against any new restrictions, including the proposed expansion of background checks.
Murphy cited a January 2013 poll by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health that reported 74 percent of NRA members supported requiring a universal background-check system for all gun sales. The poll said 84 percent of all gun-owners supported such a system.
Wayne LaPierre, the CEO of the NRA, and Chris Cox, the group’s chief lobbyist, have continued to oppose universal background checks.
“The NRA’s leadership continues to demonstrate just how of step they are with the American public, their own membership and reality in general,’’ Murphy said.
Murphy’s latest attack on the NRA leadership is his third salvo against the nation’s premier gun owners’ organization with more than four million members.
Earlier, he taunted the NRA for financial support of losing political candidates in the 2012 election. Another report documented the support that the group receives from the firearms industry. Both studies relied on research by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns group.