NRA: 'Connecticut Effect' Has Delayed Group's Lobbying Against Gun Control
WASHINGTON -- A lobbyist for the Wisconsin chapter of the National Rifle Association said the "Connecticut effect" needed to pass in order for his group to press its 2013 lobbying agenda, and he predicted that nationwide calls for stricter gun control following the shooting of 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Conn., would soon subside.
Speaking at a Wisconsin state NRA meeting over the weekend, lobbyist Bob Welch said, "We have a strong agenda coming up for next year, but of course a lot of thatís going to be delayed as the 'Connecticut effect' has to go through the process." Welch's comments were first reported by Think Progress. The shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School galvanized public support for stricter gun control laws, and President Barack Obama has since made the issue a key part of his second-term agenda.
In Washington, NRA lobbyists waited a month following the Newtown tragedy before returning to Capitol Hill in force to pressure Congress to reject any new proposals for gun control. But the shooting appears to have caused some traditionally pro-gun senators, such as West Virginia's Joe Manchin (D), to endorse broader background checks on firearms purchases. A recent poll found that more than 90% of voters support universal background checks for guns.