Major Garrett: Obama has expanded, not reduced gun rights

National Journal's Major Garrett on "CBS This Morning."
CBS This Morning

(CBS News) National Journal White House correspondent Major Garrett said there has been no debate in Washington since the '90s about gun control, and that President Obama has expanded access to guns since he was elected.

"We haven't had a huge heated discussion in a very long time," Garrett said Monday on "CBS This Morning."

He said the president signed a bill into law about credit card consumer protections that included a measure that allowed people to carry concealed guns in national parks. "President Obama expanded the use of concealed carry on federal property. That's what's going on in Washington recently."

"There hasn't been a raging debate at the federal level and if anything, it's been pressure from the NRA (National Rifle Association) and gun rights groups to have a federal standard on conceal carry, not restrict access to firearms," he said.

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Garrett said Democrats have "internalized" the crippling debate over gun control that some say cost presidential candidate Al Gore the election in Florida in 2000. He said Democrats are not willing to take up the discussion.

"It's just not going to happen," he said, noting that gun restriction advocate Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ, might introduce a bill it will "die a quick painful death."

Instead, he said the debate is taking place at the state level, where states are expanding access to gun ownership and ammunition.

(Watch the full interview in the video player above.)