Fox News
January 10, 2013

Gun advocates detail 'unproductive' meeting with White House

Guests: Johanna Reeves, Richard Feldman

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," January 10, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The president and his newly formed gun task force continue to plug away at taking away your guns. Now, earlier today, Vice President Biden with his presidential task force, they met with gun rights groups at the White House. Now, he is aiming to have a list of recommendations on President Obama's desk by Tuesday. But before his meeting with the NRA this afternoon, Biden gave us a glimpse into what some of those suggestions might be. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: There's an emerging set of recommendations, not coming from me, but coming from the groups we've met with, and I'm going to focus on the ones that relate primarily to gun ownership, the type of weapons that can be owned. And one is, there's a surprising, so far, a surprising recurrence of suggestions that we have universal background checks.

I've never quite heard as much talk about the need to do something about high capacity magazines, as I've heard spontaneously from every group that we've met with so far. And the last area, which is an area that is -- the whole question of the ability of any federal agency to do any research on the issue of gun violence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now, keep in mind, Uncle Joe made those comments before he met with members of gun rights groups, and from the sound of it the meeting was very unproductive. The NRA, they put out a statement which reads in part, quote, "We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment. While claiming that no policy proposals would be pre-judged, this task force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearm owners, honest taxpaying hard working Americans."

We're going to get right to it tonight. Joining me now are two people who are in that closed door meeting at the White House earlier today, the president of the Independent Firearms Association, Richard Feldman and the executive director of the Firearms Import Export Roundtable, Johanna Reeves is with us.

Welcome both of you. Johanna, let me start with you. I know a lot of Americans would have liked to have been in that meeting. We see guns sales through the roof, we see hundreds of thousands of people joining the NRA. Bring us inside the White House today.

JOHANNA REEVES, FIREARMS IMPORT EXPORT ROUNDTABLE: Well, thank you, Sean, for having me on your show, I appreciate the opportunity. I agree with what the NRA said, that essentially the meeting was unproductive. I think that most of us had very low expectations going into it. And basically, our presumptions were met. I think that he -- he ran the meeting the way he saw fit. We had the opportunity to speak, and I think that there were a lot of things that we agreed on, but at the end he chose instead to focus on our differences.

HANNITY: All right. Let's go to what it is he might have agreed on. Apparently little time was used to discuss how to keep our kids safe in school. I mean, I thought that was the purpose of this after the Newtown shooting. What did you agree on? What specifically were they saying that you disagreed with?

REEVES: Well, first of all, I mean, there was little discussion on how to keep our children safe. One of the things that Vice President Biden mentioned in his press conference, the issue of having a federal agency do research on gun crimes. In the industry we have a problem with that, we have concerns because in the past, the way that research has been used has been to validate and perpetuate gun control.

A perfect example of a similar type of analysis and data that is mishandled is traces, gun traces, that ATF conducts on firearms, and in reality, a gun that is traced only means that it is a gun that ATF has handled or local law enforcement, not all trace guns are used in crimes, and not all guns used in crimes are traced. So, that was one specific area in which we vehemently disagreed.

HANNITY: All right. Let me go to you, Richard. By the way, a lot of this is ironic considering the very same administration that gave guns to drug runners, and kidnappers, and killers, and gang members and they didn't track them and weren't forth coming when it came to the death of an immigration officer. Let's get your perception. You were in the meeting today. What happened and do you agree with the NRA and Johanna here?

RICHARD FELDMAN, INDEPENDENT FIREARM OWNERS ASSOCIATION: You know, Sean, when we deal with this issue, if we focus on the gun, we miss the opportunity in this country to zero in on the real problem, which is always in whose hands are the guns. And when we ask and craft the question correctly, we find a great deal of agreement. But when we dance around the issue, talking about gun control, which means different things to different people, we never really talk about the problem. And in many ways, we didn't when it came to guns, talk directly about the problem today.

HANNITY: That's pretty disappointing, Johanna. Let me go back to you. I'm willing to have a discussion, I don't want to tune into the Fox News Channel and see a tragedy like this occur again. Unfortunately, you know, Joe Biden said, yesterday, well, if it only saves one life. If it only saves one life we could eliminate cars right now and in the next 15 minutes we'll be saving lives. We could eliminate knives in people's home and baseball bats and hammers and take away blunt objects of any kind. So, that standard doesn't exist.

Let me ask you specifically, was any discussion made about the possibility of putting retired police officers, armed guards in schools? Did that come up?

REEVES: No.

HANNITY: Mental health issues, did that come up?

REEVES: The mental health issues did come up and I think that's one thing that we all agree upon.

I want to point out, Sean, if I may, that when you listen to the talk that is going on right now, the discussions, a lot of people on both sides are saying that we want to make sure that the people who shouldn't have guns don't have access to guns. And I think that that's something that we all agree upon. What's interesting is that the gun control act already has provisions in it that prevent that from happening, but here is the trick. Those provisions, to be effective, there has to be implementation on all levels. And that includes enforcement of our laws, so that people who commit crimes are convicted. We have people who are mentally defective or who should be institutionalized, should be adjudicated as such. People who should not be in the armed services should be dishonorably discharged. These are all disabling provisions and if they were implemented on the local levels, through all levels of law enforcement and our judicial system, perhaps maybe the gun control could actually work the way it's designed.

HANNITY: All right. Let me ask you both one final question, I will ask you two part question. Number one, what was the vice president's demeanor? How would you describe his attitude during this meeting, number one? And number two, did the issue of bypassing Congress and circumventing Congress and of course, the Second Amendment, did those issues come up? Those two questions. Johanna, I guess we'll start with you.

REEVES: They came up in the abstract. Vice President Biden did mention the fact that they are looking at executive action. That is one area in particular that the members of my trade organization are very concerned about, because one area in particular is imports. And there's a lot of room for the president to act on the area of imports, and so that's an area of concern.

HANNITY: His demeanor?

REEVES: He was -- he was certainly, I mean, this is his living, right? He was very cordial, very friendly.

HANNITY: All right. Well, at least he wasn't arrogant.

REEVES: Well --

HANNITY: Go ahead.

REEVES: Towards the end though, his arrogance started to show and in fact, some of the things that we made pointed arguments about, he just summarily dismissed. So, towards the end --

HANNITY: All right. I'm sorry. Richard, we're running long here. Rich?

FELDMAN: You know, Sean, we still live in a democracy in this country, and after next Tuesday, this fight is going to move from the White House over to Capitol Hill, and that's where the gun owners in this country are really going to show their strength, their fortitude and what democracy is all about. We are going to be coming out there and this fight is far from over. We're going to be on the Hill. We're all going to be involved in this and it's far, far from over.

HANNITY: All right. Thank you both for being with us and sharing your insights about the meeting today. It's very, very, insightful. And we will continue. This is part of saving America. We have a Constitution, it is our rule of law, and we are going to make sure that, for example, we have separation of powers. That is one big issue in all of this, and we have equal, co-equal branches of government. Thank you both.

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