The National Rifle Association's chief executive has responded to President Obama's invitation to discuss gun policy with a, "No thank you," saying the president should focus the debate on dangerous criminals rather than guns.

"It shouldn't be a dialogue about guns; it really should be a dialogue about dangerous people," Wayne LaPierre told the New York Times.

The NRA has supported proposals to prevent gun sales to the mentally ill, strengthen a national system of background checks and spur states to provide needed data, LaPierre said.

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