NRA’s LaPierre: No evidence new Conn. laws would have prevented Newtown massacre

National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre suggested Thursday that new gun laws passed by the state of Connecticut wouldn't have done anything to avert the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., in December.

Pressed by Fox News host Megyn Kelly on whether smaller magazines would have resulted in fewer deaths in Newtown, LaPierre disagreed.

“People that know guns -- you can change magazine clips in a second," LaPierre said in the interview with Fox News's "American Live." "There’s no evidence that anything would have changed."

LaPierre said people defending themselves shouldn't be subject to magazine limits instituted by lawmakers, noting that Capitol Police have 17-round magazines.

"The fact is, if you’re a homeowner though and you have someone coming through your door in the middle of the night, why should you be limited to three rounds or four rounds like Mayor Bloomberg wants to do?" LaPierre said. "A third of robberies involve multiple intruders and people want them for the same reason police want them, for the same reason Capitol Hill is protected by them. Why should you be limited to what some politician believes is reasonable?”

Separately Thursday, the NRA and 30 wildlife and sports hunting groups sent a letter to Senate leaders reiterating their opposition to universal background checks on all private and commercial firearms sales.

In the letter, the groups instead propose five specific solutions: Changing the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to “effectively prevent access to firearms by those not legally qualified to possess them” without criminalizing private gun exchanges; better enforcement of current federal gun laws; adoption of NRA-sponsored school safety proposals; a review of how medical professional treat the mentally ill in order to prevent mass shootings; the development of a “community-based family watch program” to help people who believe that a family member “has the potential to become a societal danger.”

The letter notes that the 31 groups, including the Archery Trade Association, the North American Bear Foundation and Safari Club International, also noted that the firearms industry accounted for $31.8 billion in economic activity in 2012.

Several other hunting and wildlife groups, including Bull Moose Sportsmen, have voiced support for universal background checks.

Ed O'Keefe contributed to this story.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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