NSSF, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Signals Support For Background Checks

03/06/2013 08:56 am ET

The nation's top gun manufacturing trade association said it would not oppose efforts to expand background checks, according to an interview with the group's president in The Washington Post.

"That’s more the NRA’s issue,” Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told the paper in an article published Tuesday. "From the commercial side, we’re already there, and we’ve been there, and we were the ones that have been the strongest proponents of an effective, complete background check."

Such support for expanding background checks from a top gun trade association could be key to the push by President Barack Obama and some in Congress to pass legislation on background checks in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting in Newtown, Conn. The bill appeared to be losing some steam in the Senate Tuesday, as congressional aides and gun advocates expect Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) to withdraw his support for the bill.

The trade group is coincidentally also based in Newtown, just about three miles from the school. The Huffington Post's Christina Wilikie and Safi Knafo profiled the group last December. More recently, the group has focused on marketing military-style assault weapons, of the kind used in the Newtown shooting.

The association's position contrasts with the National Rifle Association's opposition to more stringent background checks. However, in the wake of the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, the group supported instant background checks at gun shows.

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