NRA: Hunting safety course would include information on gun violence
On Wednesday, the NRA released a video in which its president, Wayne LaPierre, talked about the “real tragedy” of gun violence in America, and how the NRA would teach gun safety courses.
He talked about how his organization would use the NRA’s research and education arm, the Center for the Study of Violent Crime, to teach students about the consequences of gun ownership, and even discuss how to prevent mass shootings.
The NRA said it had paid for and had training for two of those instructors, but that the training did not include a discussion on gun safety.
“In our view, the video does not include any discussion of the link between gun ownership and violence, nor does it include any discussions of the need for effective gun control policies that reduce gun violence,” said the NRA in a statement.
LaPierre also said that the NRA was not “paying for these instructors to teach, nor are they paying for the materials that they will be using to teach.”
He also pointed out that the center’s training materials were not available to the public, as is standard practice for educational organizations.
NRA executive vice president David Keene said the organization had “paid for these two instructors to come in and conduct a program for its members,” but that it would not be providing any funding for those materials.
“These are not materials that were available to us,” he said.
“We are not paying for these materials to be used by any NRA member.”
Keene added that the organization did not know who the two instructors would be.
“This is not a program that was designed by NRA to be a training tool, it’s not designed for us to be able to teach about gun safety,” he told MSNBC.
NRA spokeswoman Shannon Watts told MSNBC that the company had paid to train the instructors and was “providing funding” for the project.
Watts also said the group had provided funding for the training materials, but it was not clear if they were available for public access.
“The NRA does not pay for training materials for its students to use,” she said.
The videos have been viewed over 11 million times on YouTube, according to the NRA.
The organization has received more than $2 million in campaign contributions from gun-control advocates since 2009, according the Center on Media and Democracy.