HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- The Connecticut based National Shooting Sports Foundation is defending its opposition to that universal background check bill that failed in the U.S. Senate last week.
The background check amendment had been the last best hope of Sandy Hook families and other gun control advocates for federal gun control reform this year.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation runs the largest firearms trade show in the nation, catering to their nearly 10,000 members ranging from Colt manufacturing to small mom and pop gun stores.
It's run from their hunting lodge modified headquarters in Newtown, a short distance from the Sandy Hook elementary school.
The senior vice president and general counsel says they opposed the gun background check bill in the U.S. Senate because it would have hurt legitimate gun sales nationwide.
"It would have prioritized background checks at gun shows over background checks taking place at retail establishments like, for example; Cabella's in East Hartford," said Larry Keane, National Shooting Sports Foundation.
He says by prioritizing gun show purchase background checks, other sales on weekends would have come to a standstill.
"They would not be able to do the background checks from gun stores, from actual gun shops, until they completed checks from gun shows, so, in effect, it would have shut down background checks for retailers, store front retailers, on weekends, primarily when gun show occur," Keane said.
Keane also says that because the system would require licensed gun dealers to do background checks for private sellers, the licensed gun dealers would end up having the paperwork and liability responsibility for firearms they didn't even sell.
And Keane says Governor Malloy has ignored these legitimate issues and continues to slander the gun industry by saying they want to be able to sell to anybody.
"He's refused to offer an apology for his comments, they were very insensitive, they were very intemperate and we would expect more from the leader of this state," Keane said.
Keane says his organization's efforts are concentrated on fixing the FBI's National Instant Criminal Check System because half the states are not participating in this system, which keeps records of those that are mentally ill that should not have firearms.
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