Former President Jimmy Carter on Thursday chalked the nation's gun murder rate up to the influence of the National Rifle Association and "weak-kneed public officials" who cave to its demands.
Appearing on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight," Carter agreed that the gun lobby wields incredible influence and could derail new gun control legislation.
"It happens not only at the federal level, but it also happens at every, at every state level and every municipal level," Carter said. "The NRA is there pressuring weak-kneed -- weak-kneed public officials to yield to their pressures, when they know what they're doing is wrong."
Carter went on to say that he's a gun owner and has been hunting all his life, but "I never have had a need for an assault weapon, I've never had a need for armor-piercing bullets."
"I think it's ridiculous for our country to be in the forefront of killing people with guns. And when you see that there are maybe 20 or 30 people in Canada killed in a year and several thousand people killed here in the United States from guns, that shows that the NRA is wrong and that we should have some restraints," he said.