Gore says GOP creating needless gun bill delays

May 28, 1999|By COX NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON -- As House Republicans held their first hearing on proposed gun-control legislation, Vice President Gore appeared on Capitol Hill yesterday to accuse the GOP leadership of seeking to kill the measures with needless delays.

Are they "genuinely troubled over the details of the legislative language?" asked Gore, flanked by more than a dozen House Democrats. "Of course not. It is because some within the Republican caucus are so responsive to the NRA. They are hoping against hope that if they can slow-walk this whole measure, then the American people will lose the sense of urgency."

The House adjourned for the Memorial Day recess without taking up the gun legislation, though House Speaker Dennis Hastert, an Illinois Republican, has pledged a vote by mid-June.

Those testifying at yesterday's Judiciary subcommittee hearing included the top lobbyists of the gun lobby, including National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and the parents of teen shooting victims.

Darrell Scott, the father of a teen-age daughter killed at Columbine High School and a son who was wounded, told lawmakers not to scapegoat the NRA and work to re-integrate God and prayer into the classroom.

"I don't think guns kill people without people behind those guns," said Scott, urging lawmakers to avoid "political posturing and restrictive legislation."

LaPierre, whose organization waged a fierce lobbying effort against aspects of the Senate bill, urged Congress to enforce existing laws, rather than pass new ones.

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