Blunt, NRA: Feds should enforce existing laws

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt speaks with attendees during a stop at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport on Thursday.
Mark Bliss

The federal government needs to enforce existing gun laws, not ban guns, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and a top official of the National Rifle Association said Thursday.

Blunt, who is seeking re-election to a second, six-year term, made a campaign stop at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, accompanied by NRA officials Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox.

LaPierre and Cox announced the NRA’s endorsement of Blunt in front of a crowd of more than 100 GOP supporters.

Instead of banning guns, as he said Democrats have championed, Blunt said a better approach would be to enforce current gun laws and address the mental-health problems that are at the root of many deadly shootings.

“The problem is not that we don’t have enough laws; the problem is the administration isn’t enforcing the laws we do have,” Blunt said.

LaPierre, executive vice president of the politically powerful NRA, blamed President Barack Obama’s administration for not enforcing gun laws.

“It drives me crazy every day. This administration does not want to enforce existing gun laws on the books against drug dealers with guns, criminal gang members with guns, illegal trafficking, illegal transport, illegal receipt. You name it, you have the gun laws on the books,” he said.

LaPierre said the administration has “a philosophy that they don’t want to put anybody in prison.”

LaPierre said federal gun laws can’t be enforced if lawbreakers are not prosecuted.

Gun-control advocates talk about passing more gun laws, he said.

“It is complete deception. They don’t enforce any of them,” he said.

LaPierre said, “The whole discussion about gun control has nothing to do with making people safer. It is simply that they have a political agenda that they don’t want Americans in this country to own guns. The whole idea about safety is a fraud. They should enforce existing gun laws against the people who commit crimes, and they don’t do it.”

Cox, who chairs the NRA’s political victory fund, said Blunt has a strong record of protecting Second Amendment freedoms of law-abiding Missourians and has stood up against anti-gun nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Cox called Blunt “a champion for individual freedom” and said it was an easy call to endorse him.

Blunt has benefited from more NRA campaign donations than any other current member of Congress, The Washington Post newspaper has reported.

Blunt, who previously served in the U.S. House, has been in Congress for more than 19 years.

According to the newspaper, Blunt has received more than $60,000 in campaign donations since 1998.

Cox said the Supreme Court upheld Second Amendment rights in a 2008 case, but only by a 5-4 vote. The death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February means “that fifth vote is gone,” he said.

Cox added Blunt needs to be re-elected to help block the appointment of any nominee to the high court who would weaken Second-Amendment rights.

Blunt told the crowd the nation’s freedoms hang in the balance.

The next president likely will name at least two people to the Supreme Court, he said.

He urged supporters to get to the polls Nov. 8 to protect “our freedoms.”

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Pertinent address:

Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, Cape Girardeau, Mo.