An inmate who says he is serving time at a "Supermax" prison in Florence, Colorado for bank robbery and weapons charges recently wrote an open letter to the National Rifle Association (NRA) to thank them for fighting background checks and preserving his ability to illegally buy firearms through the gun show loophole.

In a letter published in last Thursday's Hartford Courant, the anonymous inmate praises the NRA for helping to kill legislation that would have expanded background checks to gun shows and Internet sales. The gun lobbying group managed to defeat the bill even though it had overwhelming public support after last year's mass killing of 20 elementary school children in Newtown, Connecticut.

"As a lifelong career criminal, although I no longer enjoy the right to keep and bear arms, I'd like to take a moment to express my appreciation to the National Rifle Association for nonetheless protecting my ability to easily obtain them through its opposition to universal background checks," the inmate writes.

"Upon release in a few years from my current federal sentence on bank robbery and weapons charges, I fully anticipate being able to stop at a gun show on my way home to Connecticut -- where new laws have made it nearly impossible for a felon to readily purchase guns or ammunition -- in order to buy some with which to resume my criminal activities."

The inmate adds that members of Congress also deserve a "heartfelt thank you" for going along with the NRA's wishes.

"I, along with tens of thousands of other criminals, couldn't do what we do without you," the felon concludes.

[Stock photo of gun rights supporter with flag in business suit via]