Esty meets with NRA

U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, who represents Newtown in Congress, was part of delegation of Democrats who met with the National Rifle Association on Tuesday.

Esty and other members of a new Democratic task force on gun violence met with NRA executive director and chief lobbyist Chris Cox in an effort to find common ground, said Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., another task force member who attended the meeting.

“It went very well,” said McCarthy.

She said the group discussed an expansion of background checks — which the NRA opposes.

“But I think we can continue to talk to them about it,” McCarthy said.

Also discussed was the prospect of armed guards at schools — which the NRA supports — and safety procedures at schools that could include automatic lockdowns.

Esty said “it’s really important to have conversationsn with everybody.”

“Clearly there will be areas we won’t be in agreement with,” Esty said.

McCarthy said the task force will discuss a package of proposals that includes a ban on assault  weapons and high-magazine clips at the Democratic retreat in Leesburg, Va., on Feb. 6-8 and introduce the legislation in the House shortly afterwards.

But before that, the task force wants to take a page from Vice President Biden’s book and meet with as many groups — and individual NRA members — as possible, McCarthy said.

Despite the cordial talk from task force members, the NRA is expected to escalate its fight against gun control.

For example, NRA President Wayne LaPierre said he would respond Tuesday evening to President Obama’s reference to “absolutism” in his inaugural address.