NRA Chief: 'We Need to Be Able to Protect Ourselves, Because They're Coming'

By Susan Jones | June 20, 2016 | 8:00am EDT
National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre. (AP File Photo)

( - "Every American needs to have a security plan, because terrorists have targeted Americans, the head of the National Rifle Association told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

"We need to be able to protect ourselves, because they're coming. And they're going for vulnerable spots, and this country needs to realize it," said Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's executive vice president and CEO.

Host John Dickerson asked LaPierre, "Should everybody get an automatic or a semiautomatic, or should we lift limits against automatic weapons?"

"I think that we're talking about the fact law-abiding people need to be able to own firearms to protect themselves," LaPierre said.

"I think we need national carry reciprocity. I think every school needs a protection plan with a either police officer or certified armed security. And we need to look at all our vulnerabilities...because they're coming and they're going to try to kill us, and we need to be prepared."

"And this president, by diverting the attention to gun control movement, that's not going to solve the problem. They could care less."

Dickerson noted that in the case of the Orlando nightclub shooting, there was an armed security guard inside the club, yet the "good guy with a gun" did not stop the carnage:

"Well, what every place needs is a security plan that protects it," LaPierre responded. "The fact is, we need to face what's coming. They're trying to kill us. They're not going to attack hard targets. All the hard targets are protected by the government with guns. They're going for vulnerabilities. They're going to go for shopping malls. They're going to go for churches.

"The fact is, we need vigilance, we need preparedness, we need a full-court press on personal protection. We need to be able to protect ourselves."

LaPierre alo made the point that terrorists don't care about the law:

"Laws didn't stop them in Boston. Laws didn't stop them in San Bernardino, where you had every type of gun control law that you could have. And they didn't stop them in Paris, where people can't even own guns. They had fully automatic guns. They had IEDs. They had explosives.

"I mean, these bad guys we're facing, they don't say, oh, gosh, they passed a law. Oh, gosh, I don't think I can do it. It's like, what we're doing with this debate on the Hill right now, it's like they're trying to stop a freight train with a piece of Kleenex."

LaPierre also pointed to Chicago, where "you got every federal gun law on the books right now." But he said those federal gun laws are not being enforced, so drug dealers, criminal gang members and felons are not being sent to jail for 10 to 20 years.

"Let's get the bad guys off the street. Attack the terrorists, and leave the good guys alone," LaPierre said.

The NRA is backing an amendment introduced by Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, which is intended to prevent known or suspected terrorists from buying guns.

LaPierre explained it this way: "If somebody is on a list, tries to buy a gun, there's a delay. Law enforcement immediately gets on it. If they want to stop it, they to go a judge. They have got oversight. They don't -- they have to do it right away, because the minute you delay, you're tipping off the bad guy.

"And it provides due process for the good people. And it gives law enforcement the ability where they can conduct these investigations and it won't blow what they're doing."

Cornyn's amendment, the SHIELD Act, would allow the Justice  Department to delay the sale of a weapons for up to three business days while the FBI investigates.

A U.S. attorney could permanently block the gun sale upon a showing of probable cause before a judge that the individual is involved in terrorism.

The attorney general also would have the authority to immediately take the prospective gun purchaser into custody if a judge determines there is probable cause that the individual is involved in terrorism.


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