BELLEVUE, WA – Having finally acknowledged that “It’s the right of every law-abiding American to own guns,” Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy dropped her support for a three-day waiting period on gun show purchases, causing one of the nation’s leading gun rights organizations to extend an “olive branch” to the New York Democrat.

“We would be delighted to sit down with Rep. McCarthy and craft responsible legislation that prevents criminals from buying guns, while at the same time protects the privacy rights of law-abiding gun owners,” said Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA).

As reported in the New York Daily News, McCarthy is now willing to accept a 24-hour maximum delay for completion of background checks at gun shows.

While McCarthy has come under fire from some gun rights groups on the one hand, and gun control extremists on the other, for her so-called “compromise proposal,” Gottlieb said her apparent change of attitude about gun shows may provide an opportunity for serious negotiation on responsible legislation.

“Let’s be frank,” Gottlieb observed. “Gun owners should not be treated like criminals every time they buy a gun. They should not be forced to wait several days to exercise a Constitutional right. Remember what Dr. Martin Luther King said: ‘A right delayed is a right denied.’ If Rep. McCarthy is truly willing to come to the table, we’ll meet her there.”

Gottlieb said responsible legislation would have to be far more acceptable than the McCain-Lieberman bill, which is being rejected by organizations on both sides of the gun rights issue. There would have to be safeguards to protect the privacy of law-abiding gun owners, and Gottlieb also said any such legislation must not elevate any more state-level offenses to federal crimes.

“Gun owners are sick and tired of gun-grabbing hysterics transforming misdemeanors into federal felonies that prevent gun ownership,” Gottlieb stated. “Also, background check records should not be retained as a means of creating a federal gun owner registry that might be abused in the future.

“If Rep. McCarthy is prepared to take a bold leadership position, drop any pretenses and get past the rhetoric,” Gottlieb said, “we will be happy to sit down with her anytime, and anywhere.”