Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Tuesday said he doesn't understand why gun owners fear the registration of their firearms.
"I don't get the fear of registration," Steele said on MSNBC. "I don't get the, the concern about trafficking. Are we saying that we want criminals to, you know, make … back-alley sales out of the trunks of their cars?"
Steele was part of a panel on MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown," during which former Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) said that responsible gun owners insure their guns, which means they're registered. "I mean, I don't understand," she said.
MSNBC host Chuck Todd agreed with Steele. "It feels like we're protecting the rights of the paranoid about government, rather than, sort of, the reasonable," he said.
As TPM has reported, the National Rifle Association has long warned that expanding background checks would lead to a national gun registry. NRA chief Wayne LaPierre said last month at the Conservative Political Action Conference that the only reason the government has to register guns is "to tax them and to take them." But so far no registry legislation has been proposed. And the Washington Post reported this week that federal law actually prohibits such a registry.