WASHINGTON (AP) -- The country's most powerful gun rights lobbying group has reversed its decade-old stance on requiring instant background checks for people buying guns at gun shows.
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, said in 1999 that his group thinks "it's reasonable to provide mandatory instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show." He made the comment after the Columbine High School shooting in suburban Denver.
But now, LaPierre says gun laws requiring background checks are ineffective at keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.
LaPierre says the government needs to prosecute more people who try to illegally buy guns from licensed dealers. Without better enforcement of existing laws, he said, more background checks would only be a burden on law-abiding gun buyers.