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Tue Feb 5, 2013, 02:41 PM


The NRA’s fuzzy, decades-old claim of ‘20,000’ gun laws

“Senator, there needs to be a change in the culture of prosecution at the entire federal level. It's a national disgrace. The fact is, we could dramatically cut crime in this country with guns and save lives all over this country if we would start enforcing the 9,000 federal laws we have on the books.”

— National Rifle Association Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre, testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Jan. 30, 2013

Many readers have asked us about this claim of 9,000 federal gun laws, which was later repeated by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday when LaPierre appeared on that program. When we checked with NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam for the sourcing, he said that LaPierre had misspoken.

“If anything, he understated the number of laws,” Arulanandam said, noting that the NRA generally refers to “20,000 laws.”

Indeed. A Nexis search found nearly 500 references in media reports, often by NRA officials or their allies, but also by the NRA’s foes. It is repeated in letters to the editors in newspapers big and small. The figure has stretched back almost five decades. Here’s a sampling:


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Reply The NRA’s fuzzy, decades-old claim of ‘20,000’ gun laws (Original post)
SecularMotion Feb 2013 OP
mwrguy Feb 2013 #1
kudzu22 Feb 2013 #2

Response to SecularMotion (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:06 PM

1. We need to make it 20,001

With the last one being 'no guns in civilian hands'.

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Response to mwrguy (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:36 PM

2. Because the "no murdering" laws worked so well


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