WASHINGTON — A new group is hoping the 32nd anniversary of the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan will spur Republicans to support universal background checks for firearms purchases.
The United Network of Rational Americans, or UNRA, is launching a campaign Friday aimed at getting the GOP behind a top goal of gun control advocates using the still-shocking footage of the attempt on Reagan's life outside a D.C. hotel on March 30, 1981.
UNRA was founded by activist Scott Crider, who created Dogs Against Romney during the 2012 presidential campaign. The Alabama-based UNRA hopes to appeal to Republicans and gun owners.
"As life-long Southern gun owners, we strongly support America's history of responsible gun ownership," Crider said in a statement. "Like most gun owners, we also believe universal background checks are a necessary step that will save lives and will in no way undermine the 2nd Amendment."
President Obama and his allies are pushing hard to keep proposals to expand background checks alive amid opposition in Congress. The National Rifle Association opposes universal background checks.
Polling has shown vast majorities of Americans, including gun owners, favor expanded checks.