A lobbyist for the National Rifle Association (NRA) over the weekend told a group of the organization's members in Wisconsin that there could be a slight delay in new pro-gun legislation -- like expanded "stand your ground" laws -- because of a temporary "Connecticut effect" after the mass shooting of elementary school children in Newtown.
Speaking at the 2013 NRA Wisconsin State Convention, lobbyist Bob Welch explained that the organization would not retreat from efforts to expand gun rights after the Sandy Hook Elementary School killings.
"We have a strong agenda coming up for next year, but of course a lot of that’s going to be delayed as the 'Connecticut effect' has to go through the process," he said in audio posted by Think Progress on Monday.
Welch added that the "best sign" was that lawmakers were still seeking approval from NRA because "we tell them how best to do things, give them advice, give them initiatives."
"What’s even more telling is the people who don’t like guns pretty much realize that they can’t do a thing unless they talk to us," he continued. "After Connecticut I had one of the leading Democrats in the legislature—he was with us most of the time, not all the time—he came to me and said, 'Bob, I got all these people in my caucus that really want to ban guns and do all this bad stuff, we gotta give them something. How about we close this gun show loophole? Wouldn’t that be good?'"
"And I said, 'No, we’re not going to do that.' And so far, nothing’s happened on that," Welch bragged.
Although Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed a "castle doctrine" in 2011, the NRA's Wisconsin Force President Jeff Nass has promised that the group would push Republican legislators to make the law more like Florida's "stand your ground" policy, which became controversial after Florida teen Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman.
In the wake of the December shootings in Newtown, the NRA has followed a familiar pattern of initially refusing to comment and then opposing all new gun safety proposals.
Listen to this audio from Think Progress, broadcast Feb. 11, 2013.
[Photo: State of Wisconsin]