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CNN "Erin Burnett Outfront" - Transcript - Guns

Interview

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Location: Washington, DC

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SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Technology does some very good things. These 3D printers, which prints sorts of 3D plastic the way they spray ink on a piece of paper have a lot of very good uses. No one wants to abolish them. They make parts for machines that are out of circulation and the part has worn out.

They help aerodynamically design our cars and other vehicles. They're used in all kinds of different activities that are good. But now, of course, because you can make a gun and this group, this libertarian group printed it online, which I think is a reckless act, it can create real danger as well.

Felon, a terrorist, can make a gun in the comfort of their home not even leaving their home and do terrible damage with it. And so the question is what we do about it. The first thing we should do is certainly extend the law. The law that prohibits these types of guns that can't be detected when you go through a metal detector expires this year. We should extend it and make it broader. Right now, you can't have a gun but you can make every part, sell them to someone and they can put them together, and that's legal. That ought to be stopped.

BURNETT: You know, when you said part -- one of the things we need to do here is extend that, the rule that requires guns be detectible by metal detectors at the end of this year, it makes me think about some of the other efforts obviously recently that's failed.

You had overwhelmingly public support for background checks. It never gets better than what you had in that 92 percent of Americans said they were for that expansion in January. It's now dropped a little bit, but it is still very high at 88 percent. But even with that approval from the American public, the Senate hasn't even been able to get that done. How do you expect to get something else done with regards to guns and we can't get background checks in?

SCHUMER: I think that people who would oppose extending this law do so at their peril. This is so beyond the pale that I think that even the extremists will have trouble getting people to take their point of view here. And I don't think they'll oppose it.

BURNETT: This weekend, 86,228 people -- that is a heck of a lot of people. That's who went to the NRA annual meeting in Houston. They only thought they would get 72,000. That's what they had last year. 86,000. That's pretty incredible. The vice president, Wayne Lapierre, said over the weekend, the NRA membership topped five million. That's -- a tenth of them joined since the Newtown shootings. The recent poll that we just saw today said Americans said starting to trust Republicans in Congress more than the president when it comes to gun control. This has got to frustrate the bejesus out of you.

SCHUMER: Well, you know, sooner or later the Congress catches up with public opinion. And I think an issue like this, which shows that the absolutist position of so many on the hard right makes no sense. So I think actually the proposal to extend and strengthen the law against nondetectible guns will prevail, and I think it may lead some to think that some of the other extreme positions are way out of line as well.

Look, we all remember the Clint Eastwood move "In The Line Of Fire." And John Malkovich, one of the great original bad guys in that movie, spent months and months and months trying to create a gun out of wood and plastic so he could assassinate the president. Now it's not a movie anymore. It's reality. And I think society will push Congress to act no matter what the NRA does.

BURNETT: So you think the nondetectible guns, the not allowing plastic guns at all, has a better chance of passing at this point than background checks?

SCHUMER: Absolutely. Look, I still think we'll win by background checks by the end of the year. Members who went home to their districts and voted against those things saw their poll numbers drop and saw the public against them. No matter what the extreme pro-gun people say, I find it very hard to believe that colleagues of either political party, of any political philosophy, would get up on the floor of the Senate and say we should not have a ban on undetectable plastic guns.

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