Why Is Pro-Gun Extremist Larry Pratt On Fox News Sunday?

Fox News Sunday included as a featured guest Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, despite the history of inflammatory rhetoric and extremist links that Pratt and his organization are associated with.

The opening segment of the January 13 edition of Fox News Sunday featured Pratt and Neera Tanden of the Center for American Progress discussing issues of gun rights in the wake of the Newtown massacre. Pratt argued against banning weapons and expanding background checks, and he said that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was “not speaking from a constitutional perspective” when he said that Second Amendment rights are not unlimited.

While host Chris Wallace did confront Pratt about his comparison of President Obama to King George III, he made no mention of other, more extreme rhetoric and connections Pratt and his organization are linked to:

  • On January 11, Pratt said on a radio show that Obama should be impeached if he uses an executive order to restrict gun rights.

  • Pratt has also said that legislation denying firearms to the dangerously mentally ill was “a dictatorial power” that “they use[d] ... in Nazi Germany.”

  • Pratt was removed as national co-chair of Pat Buchanan's 1996 presidential campaign after his associations with white supremacists were revealed. Pratt also served as a contributing editor of a publication described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as anti-Semitic.

  • On Fox & Friends, John Velleco, GOA's director of federal affairs, falsely claimed: "Every time a state tries to relax concealed carry laws, we hear the Chicken Littles of the world saying that blood is going to flow in the streets, and it just doesn't happen. In fact, crime doesn't go up, crime goes down, because criminals don't know who is carrying a firearm to defend themselves.

  • Velleco also suggested that gun owners should be allowed to carry their weapons at events where the president of the United States is speaking.

  • Michael Hammond, GOA's legislative counsel, warned that a “government psychiatrist” could determine who is allowed to possess a gun, citing the example of returning Iraq War veterans who are not allowed to have guns due to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Despite this extremist record, Fox News has hosted GOA representatives on its channel.