Mayor Bill de Blasio says the National Rifle Association and its leadership are responsible for mass shootings in the United States, such as the one in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead.
"The NRA is the problem. The leadership of the NRA is responsible for these massacres. It's as plain and simple as that," Mayor de Blasio said during a press conference at City Hall.
He said the actions of the NRA and its Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre make guns so readily available that terrorists, people with severe mental illnesses and troubled youngsters can legally purchase a weapon. He said without the action of the NRA, Congress would have already strengthened gun control laws.
"The NRA makes law enforcement's job more difficult every single day in this country, but it's a particularly sick twist that now they're attacking the FBI. They're overtly attacking the FBI," Mayor de Blasio said.
LaPierre spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday. In his speech, he said a number of Democrats don't care about the safety of school children, naming both Mayor de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo.
"He can attack me all day long, I'm not worried about that. What I'm worried about is what he is doing to this country and what the leaders of the NRA are doing to endanger our people and our children specifically," Mayor de Blasio said.
The mayor voiced support for students who walk out of class to rally in favor of tougher gun control laws. He also announced additional security procedures, such as a mandatory emergency drill and unannounced metal detectors at schools.
"If Wayne LaPierre wasn't in the way, this would be a safer country and don't just ask me, ask law enforcement leaders what they think about that," Mayor de Blasio said.
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