Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 3:14 pm
The lobbying wing of the National Rifle Association has sent a mailer to some residents in Kentucky that says Senator Mitch McConnell will stop the “gun control agenda” of President Obama and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
It hit mailboxes shortly after it was revealed that McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, sits on the board of a charity run by Bloomberg.
The mail piece came from the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, and by law cannot be authorized by a candidate or candidate’s committee. Featuring on the front photos of Bloomberg and President Obama, with a dark, grainy picture of New York City in the background, the mailer says “Restricting Your Second Amendment Rights is Obama’s Unfinished Business.”
The back features a picture of McConnell, with assurances that the incumbent Republican opposes “any bans on guns and ammunition”, “a federal gun registration database”, and what it describes as the President’s “anti-gun nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court.”
The NRA’s criticism of Bloomberg’s gun control views comes as McConnell was recently forced to answer questions about his wife’s role on the board of Bloomberg Philanthropies.
When conducting a background check on a person buying a gun, Kentucky’s Attorney General said they’re still limited by the information available in the system. And, with many mental health care providers already under a financial strain, Jack Conway said inputting all that data can be a hardship.
“Not only do those agencies have to provide mental health services, they have to interface with the data bases and law enforcement and provide the information and make sure it gets captured, make certain it’s available to people that need to access the information," He said. "So, we’re in the process of looking, making certain that all of our information is getting into the system,” said Conway.
Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey is opposing a National Rifle Association-backed effort to block public access to the state's handgun carry permits. Ramsey says the ability to scrutinize the identities of people with handgun carry permits strengthens gun advocates' arguments that they are worthy of carrying loaded firearms in public.
An Illinois Senate committee has approved restrictions on semiautomatic assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. The bills are now on their way to the full Senate. One measure bans the sale of semiautomatic handguns and rifles. People who already own such weapons can keep them, but they will have to register them. The second proposal would limit ammunition magazines to 10 or fewer rounds.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam says it’s too early to tell whether the defeat of House Republican Caucus Chairwoman Debra Maggart in last week’s primary will cause lawmakers to usher through a gun bill championed by the National Rifle Association. The NRA poured more than $86,000 into the Maggart race, claiming she was instrumental in blocking legislation to guarantee employees the right to store weapons in vehicles parked at work, regardless of the business owner’s wishes. Haslam has said he supports the measure, but only with exceptions built in for large employers.
The National Rifle Association is at odds with Tennessee Republican leaders over proposed limitations to a bill requiring employers allow workers to store firearms in vehicles parked on company lots. The NRA's chief lobbyist, Chris W. Cox, has demanded in a letter to state lawmakers that the original bill be adopted without any changes. The measure is roundly opposed by business groups and the state's police chiefs on the basis that it would infringe on property rights and raise safety concerns.