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Watch NRA Leader Wayne LaPierre in 1999: ‘No Guns in America’s Schools, Period’ (Video)

Gun rights advocate sounded a lot different during a meeting in Colorado two decades ago

While the National Rifle Association has made headlines with audacious plans to arm teachers to curb mass shootings in U.S. schools, the organization didn’t always support the idea.

In a recently unearthed speech at an NRA conference in Colorado in 1999, the group’s longtime leader, Wayne LaPierre, publicly called for getting guns out of school. “We believe in absolutely gun-free, zero-tolerance, totally safe schools,” LaPierre said to audience applause.

“That means no guns in America’s schools period, with the rare exception of law enforcement officers or trained security personnel,” he said.

“We believe America’s schools should be as safe as America’s airports,” he added. “You can’t talk about, much less take, bombs, guns onto airplanes. Such behavior in our schools should be prosecuted just as certainly as such behavior in our airports is prosecuted.”

LaPierre’s remarks came just days after the massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., that left 15 dead.

The language flies in the face of LaPierre’s most recent high-profile remarks on the issue, delivered at CPAC, an annual GOP confab, just last month.

“Every day young children are being dropped off at schools that are virtually wide open soft targets for anyone bent on mass murder. Schools must be the most hardened targets in this country,” he said. “To stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun.”

LaPierre’s call for “gun-free” schools also contradicts his current position.

“We drop our kids off at school, that are so-called gun-free zones, that are wide-open targets for any crazy madman bent on evil,” he said last month.

Representatives for both LaPierre and the NRA did not immediately respond to request for comment.

You can watch LaPierre’s full 1999 remarks here.