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NRA highlights ATF's "gunwalker" scandal

Wayne LaPierre and Eric Holder
CBS/Getty Images
Wayne LaPierre and Eric Holder
CBS/Getty Images

The National Rifle Association (NRA) today used its annual convention in Pittsburgh to highlight ATF's "gunwalker" scandal and call for the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder. NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre told members today: "When ATF authorizes and watches thousands of guns walk across the border and fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, that's not just bizarre law enforcement; it's government-sanctioned gunrunning."

President Obama has said neither he nor Holder, whose Justice Department oversees the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), authorized any such operation and investigations into the allegations are ongoing. "He's in charge," said LaPierre, speaking of Holder, "and he didn't know?... If Holder didn't know, Holder has got to go."

CBS Radio affiliate KDKA said approximately 70,000 NRA members were expected to gather for the convention which continues through tomorrow. A spokesman for the NRA says one million of the group's 3.5 million members live within a four hour radius of Pittsburgh.

Wayne LaPierre to call for Eric Holder's resignation

Outside the convention, demonstrators planned to protest a loophole that they say lets private gun sellers get around federal background checks.

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    Sharyl Attkisson is a CBS News investigative correspondent based in Washington.