Mark Kelly, the retired astronaut and husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), said Thursday that Wayne LaPierre and other members of the National Rifle Association leadership are out of step with the mainstream on universal background checks.
Citing a survey conducted last summer by Republican pollster Frank Luntz, Kelly asserted during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that the overwhelming majority of the NRA's rank-and-file favor universal background checks for gun purchases.
"I mean, when you look at the NRA, the membership itself, 74 percent of the NRA members agree with Gabby and I that there should be a universal background check before buying a gun," Kelly said. "Those 74 percent of the members of the NRA do not agree with Wayne LaPierre and the leadership. So, I mean, we've got those folks on our side on this part of the issue."
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday on gun violence, LaPierre denounced universal background checks as ineffective in stopping criminals and unfairly burdensome to law-abiding gun owners. Kelly also testified before the panel.