NRA: We shouldn't take rifles away from '10-year-old little girls' on their birthdays

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The NRA itself says the gun its lobbyist wants little girls to have is actually 'for adults.'

The NRA's top lobbyist in Florida argued against a proposed assault weapons ban, complaining that if the law passes, young children might not get rifles for their birthdays.

"How do you tell a 10-year-old little girl who got a Ruger 10/22 with a pink stock for her birthday that her rifle is an assault weapon and she has to turn it over to government or be arrested for felony possession?" asked Marion Hammer at a Friday meeting of Florida economists to oppose the proposed ban.

The NRA and other pro-gun advocates in the state have complained that the proposal, which would be voted on in a referendum in 2020, is too broad, even though a recent Quinnipiac poll showed that 59% of Florida voters support an assault weapons ban in the state.

Hammer's description of the gun as a weapon for a child runs counter to the NRA itself.

"It was designed as a quality rimfire gun for adults," the NRA's blog noted of the Ruger 10/22 in a 2016 posting.

Hammer's lament also did not address the danger in giving a deadly weapon to a child. In 2014, for example, a shooting range instructor in Arizona was accidentally shot and killed by a 9-year-old girl learning to fire an Uzi.

"Charles Vacca, 39, was teaching the girl how to use the automatic weapon on Monday morning at the Last Stop outdoor shooting range in White Hills, Arizona, when she pulled the trigger and the kickback caused the gun to lurch over her head, investigators said," NBC reported.

Vacca was hit by a stray bullet and died from his injuries.

The assault weapons ban in Florida is supported by Ban Assault Weapons Now, a grassroots group that has collected nearly 100,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot. Gail Schwartz, the leader of the group, is the aunt of Alex Schachter, who was killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Florida's Republican attorney general, Ashley Moody, is leading a court challenge to oppose the proposal, echoing the NRA's claims that the measure is too broad.

Hammer has been described as "the most influential gun lobbyist in the United States."

"Her policies have elevated Florida’s gun owners to a uniquely privileged status, and made the public carrying of firearms a fact of daily life in the state," the New Yorker noted in a 2018 profile.

"Hammer has the power to draft bills, shepherd them to passage, and marshal tax-payer-funded government personnel and resources at her whim," according to The Trace.

Hammer led the NRA's efforts to suppress gun reforms proposed in Florida after the Parkland massacre and attacked Republicans who voted for the legislation as "GOP betrayers."

Going after the assault weapons ban while invoking the birthday wishes of 10-year-old girls is the next step in Hammer's crusade.

Published with permission of The American Independent.