United States Justice Department officials met with gun control advocates on Tuesday, two days after U.S. President Barack Obama's letter appeared in the Arizona Daily Star calling for stronger gun laws.
Gun ownership support organization National Rifle Association (NRA) declined to attend the meeting. NRA officials Instead published an open letter to President Obama that repeatedly pointed out inconsistencies in his Administration's words and actions regarding gun ownership by law-abiding Americans..
NRA's letter included reminders that "the primary reason why tens of millions of Americans own firearms is that they fear violent criminals roaming the streets undeterred."
The letter said NRA supports Obama's statement that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms, but reminds Obama that his record is anything but supportive and, "Further, you surrounded yourself with advisers who have advocated against the Second Amendment for years."
The NRA letter encouraged enforcement of laws that will take violent criminals off the streets. One suggestion was that the President contact every U.S. attorney and ask them to prosecute -- per month -- at least ten drug dealers, gang members, and other violent felons caught illegally possessing firearms, which the letter stated would remove roughly 12,000 violent criminals from the streets per year.
White House photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama talks on the phone with National Security Advisor Tom Donilon
No mention was made of where an additional 12,000 criminals might be housed.
In closing the NRA welcomed any serious discussion on policies that focus on prosecuting criminals, but "Any proposals to the contrary are not a legitimate approach to the issue."
Read Obama's letter.