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Witnesses tangle over background checks at gun control hearing

Influential figures on both sides of the gun control debate tangled Wednesday over the effectiveness of background checks, with the husband of wounded former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords urging an overhaul and a top National Rifle Association official saying “homicidal maniacs” will skirt the system no matter what.

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre was the final witness to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee as the panel begins to consider new legislation. He argued that more security and more enforcement, but not new laws, is the answer to gun violence.

He specifically knocked down a call by President Obama and others for “universal” background checks, particularly at gun shows.

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