From the left, it looks like a good idea.
From the right, it might be a bad idea.
The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, has been trying to push state laws restricting gun ownership and carrying for decades.
Its members are typically well-funded and well-organized, and they have extensive state lobbying and campaign financing capabilities.
But as the Senate prepares to vote on a gun control package, the group’s members are raising questions about their role in crafting the legislation.
The bill, which will be debated next week, would create a national background check system, require universal background checks for all gun purchases and require the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to track and report all gun transactions.
The proposal also requires gun retailers to report the names of gun buyers to federal law enforcement.
A group of states that oppose the proposal, led by Alaska, California, Idaho, Illinois, Montana, New Jersey, Oregon and Vermont, filed an amicus brief in support of the bill, saying that the NRA “has repeatedly advocated for a federal gun registry and has supported efforts to establish a federal database for background checks.”
But the brief does not explain how, exactly, the NRA helped shape the proposed legislation.
What the NRA did, the brief said, was provide the model legislation, write the language and create a blueprint for the legislation that was ultimately incorporated into the final bill.
The NRA has said it never lobbied on the bill.
But it did provide the blueprint.
And a group of gun rights advocates, led to the proposal by former NRA executive director Chris Cox, said in a statement they were “very surprised” by the brief.
The brief says the NRA supported “a universal background check, requiring background checks at the point of purchase for all purchases of firearms, and a national database of gun sales, both of which would have the potential to dramatically reduce gun violence.”
It says the blueprint includes provisions to “limit the number of guns in the U.S. and to expand gun restrictions on the basis of gun ownership.”
The NRA’s role in shaping the bill is not immediately clear.
The group’s political arm, the Gun Owners of America, has said in past months that the plan is a “pandemic.”
In response to the NRA filing the brief, the White House said the president will review the group in coming weeks and make a decision about whether to veto the bill in a matter of days.
In the brief the NRA says the plan would not “enact any new, more restrictive restrictions on gun ownership or ammunition.”
But NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, the organization’s senior vice president for legislative affairs, told CNN on Wednesday that “it is our belief that these are measures that will keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.”
LaPierre also defended the NRA in the past.
He said the group was not pushing legislation that would prevent people from owning guns.
“The NRA is a gun rights organization, not a gun store,” LaPierre said.
“And if it’s a gun-control group that’s trying to promote these things, then they’re not promoting gun safety.”
The gun lobby is also not the only group behind the NRA bill.
Another gun control advocacy group, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which was instrumental in passing a 1994 law barring assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, also filed an amendment that was attached to the bill that says it would require a national gun registry.
NRA spokesman Josh Pitcock said that the Brady amendment was not a part of the final legislation.
“There was no Brady amendment attached to any of the legislation,” Pitcock told CNN.
The Brady Campaign’s stance on gun control comes after the NRA filed a lawsuit challenging a Colorado law that restricts the sale of high-powered rifles and shotguns.
The suit claims that the Colorado law infringes on Second Amendment rights.