The CEO of the National Rifle Association (NRA) hit out at Hollywood Thursday, accusing celebrities of hypocrisy over the mass shooting in Las Vegas and saying the elite were looking to exploit the recent tragedy for their own political gain.
“This Hollywood crowd makes billions a year, every single day, teaching gun irresponsibility to the American public,” Wayne LaPierre told Fox News’s Sean Hannity. “The hypocrisy is beyond belief.”
“They criticize me for saying people ought to be able to protect themselves from murderers, rapists and robbers,” LaPierre continued, “and then they make billions depicting every night those same situations. The hypocrisy coming out of Hollywood is beyond belief. The American public doesn’t buy into it.”
LaPierre also vigorously defended Second Amendment rights, rebuffing calls for stricter gun control following Sunday’s deadly attack in which Nevada local Stephen Paddock gunned down 58 festivalgoers from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel.
He said anti-gun senator Dianne Feinstein and Minority Leader Charles Schumer were looking to “piggyback their agenda to ban guns” following the tragedy.
The NRA has again been drawn into the spotlight after Sunday’s shooting. In a statement Thursday, the powerful pro-gun lobby called on the government to review regulation on bump stocks, the modification that allows a semiautomatic rifle to function as a fully automatic weapon. At least one of Paddock’s guns was modified in such a manner.
“The [NRA] is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law,” the group said of bump stocks. It added that the devices “should be subject to additional regulations.”
Speaking to Hannity, LaPierre reiterated the NRA’s position that the administration of Barack Obama was to blame for the availability of bump stocks but added the organization was not calling for the equipment to be banned. “We didn’t say ban, we didn’t say confiscate,” LaPierre said.
NRA figureheads have been out in force in recent days defending gun laws. Its chief lobbyist, Chris W. Cox, spoke to Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson on his prime-time program Tucker Carlson Tonight, also on Thursday.
Cox used his appearance to advocate nationwide “right-to-carry reciprocity,” legislation that would require every state to accept permits issued in the other 49.
“Right now, the American people are looking for answers,” Cox said. “But the American people are also looking for their Second Amendment. They’re looking for Congress to respect the Second Amendment.”