January 10th, 2013
08:19 PM ET
2 years ago

National Rifle Association gearing up for a fight

Washington (CNN) - The National Rifle Association is gearing up to face one of the strongest challenges to its cause in many years: recommendations from an Obama administration working group on gun violence that are expected to address assault weapons and high-capacity magazine clips.

CNN has learned the NRA is also preparing an ad campaign, expected to include both print and television advertisements, that would begin soon to help mount its opposition to new gun restrictions. NRA officials refused to discuss specifics.

The administration's working group on violence, led by Vice President Joe Biden, will deliver its recommendations to President Barack Obama by Tuesday.

"We are mobilizing for a fight," NRA President David Keene told CNN. "We will engage our members."

The association is planning to send mailings to its members urging them to contact members of Congress with their opposition to new gun laws. "Let them know you feel strongly," is how Keene summarized the group's message to member.

The NRA is also sending personnel to gun shows to help to mobilize gun owners to voice their opposition.

Since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, last month, the organization has added 100,000 new members, bringing its total membership to 4.2 million, NRA officials told CNN. Because of the increased attention on the issue, the officials think they will soon hit 5 million.

The NRA was one of the groups representing gun owners that met with Biden and his group Thursday afternoon.

After the session, the group issued a statement, saying "this task force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners … it is unfortunate this Administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation's most pressing problems."

A White House official did not comment on the meeting other than to say it lasted just over an hour and a half.

Biden earlier in the day told a separate meeting of his working group, this one with victims' groups and gun safety organizations, that "there's got to be some common ground here, not to solve every problem, but diminish the probability that … these mass shootings will occur and diminish the probability that our children are at risk in our schools."

Keene told CNN's "The Situation Room" that one area where he thought the group and the Obama administration could possibly find some common ground was on the need for background checks. However, he said he did not support instituting them at gun shows. Currently buyers at gun shows do not have to undergo the same background checks as buyers at gun stores.


Filed under: Gun rights • NRA
soundoff (523 Responses)
  1. Dma

    Tom,
    keep telling yourself whatever you want if it helps. Hope you get over the issues someday.

    January 11, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. REDMIST

    I like the way he uses the word "Probability." Its going to happen whether we ban them, to a degree, or not. Just enforce what we have now.

    January 11, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. Paul

    Only congress has the power to make laws and tax. It's pretty simple. You would think that obama would have read the constitution before.

    January 11, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. Dma

    Who are we to tell anyone what they do and don't need?

    January 11, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  5. California Gary

    Even some high profile GOP voices are saying that if their party lines up against and fights "common sense" measures being proposed, their party will be extinct within a short period of time. The rest of the GOP would do well to listen to them. And Paul.......have you ever voted for a Dem?

    January 11, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  6. Craig R B

    NRA members and other gun owners should be really pissed off that the NRA is using them by instilling the FEAR that their guns will be taken away and the 2nd amendment wiped out just so the manufacturers & the related industries can make a lot more money. That's partly what it's all about, more money.

    January 11, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  7. Citizen1

    well all throughout america i always hear about religious figures molesting our children so i guess by this logic we may as well go ahead and outlaw religion while were at it.

    January 11, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  8. Leslie

    Can anyone explain to me why a group that has a membership of about 4 million members holds the rest of the nearly 400,000,000 US citizens hostage to their philosophy? Who is the majority here? Join Gabby's PAC!

    January 11, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. Alan Rose

    The last line in your article is a BOLD FACED LIE. I challenge you to prove otherwise. There is only ONE background check for gun buyers. A Federal Firearms Licensee has to perform this check on EVERY SALE no matter where it takes place. On the other hand, a private seller, who is not in the business of selling firearms, does not have to do a background check whether he conducts the sale at home or anywhere else.

    January 11, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. Bob

    FBI records from the FBI web site
    year: 1992- viloent crimes- 757 per 100,000 year 2011 386 per 100,000
    year 1992 murders 9.3 per 100,000 year 2011 4.6 per 100,000

    Not a mathematical genius- but it looks like and I could be wrong- but all these figures are going down
    well except Chicago's

    January 11, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. dan

    if people really believe that restricting guns from people who can legally own them then the are stupid people. criminals will always find guns or other way to cause harm to unprotected people. I would like to ask see if the president and vice president are willing to have the secret service give up their firearm when on duty? I want my children just as protected as the pres and vice president bc there will always be bad people wbo want to cause harm. I bet the pres and vic pres chkldren have armed protection so why don't my children???

    January 11, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  12. thomase

    The argument against automatic weapons is that it is just too easy to get into a packed area and spray for maximum damage. With high ammo capacity it can easily kill a lot of people. Hand guns (even though they have the highest murder rate of guns) don't have near the capacity nor the shear ease of use.

    Recurring registration, background checks, potential mental health checks are not a bad idea. Can anyone really look at Alex Jones on TV with Piers (should be deported regardless) the other night and say, yeah man this guy should be carrying fully automatic weapons.

    I honestly feel that at least registration and higher security for weapons in the home for those with children or spouse, dependent with a history of mental instability would make things significantly safer.

    January 11, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  13. william bigham

    Ok guys this is going to be what happens there going to take away the guns from all of the honest people in the world that is trying to protect there family and its going to leave all the criminals with all the fire power they need almost none of the shootings are from people that gets there guns legal its all the illegal people that they need to find away of getting there's that's where it needs? to begin and his will never happen when the government is the biggest suppliers if they take away ours then they need to take them away from all law enforcement and military and i don't see that happening people guns don't kill people people kill people there is a reason why we use assault weapons we hunt with them and there is a good reason why other countries don't invade ours the know if they come here there going to have to fight every step of the way because everyone has a gun to defend them.

    January 11, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. Jim

    I signed up for a 5 yr membership this morning. $125 very well spent!

    January 11, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. WiscBadger

    Let's fix the debt problem before we worry about guns.

    January 11, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. thomase

    I would like to ask see if the president and vice president are willing to have the secret service give up their firearm when on duty?
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The SS possess military grade weapons training.

    January 11, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  17. The Other Bob

    Sadly, the NRA has apparently chosen to "stick to its guns," both figuratively and literally, and offered nothing of value to the discussion. They had the opportunity to help craft the inevitable new gun laws, and they screwed up. They are counting on "fell good" non-legislation (see the irony there)? It's also sickening that some commenters here are saying there will be an armed insurrection if they don't like what's enacted.

    January 11, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. Larry L

    @Dma

    Perhaps we need to ban all cars that use fuel as a source of power! The scientist (ones who study theories and assumptions) say that global warming will kill millions of people if not regulated. If this is true and millions of people will die

    January 11, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. Shefter Laurent

    Why do Americans love gun more than life? Shame!

    January 11, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  20. Dma

    Craig R B

    like our politicians never have used fear as a advantage? Call out both sides, not just the side you don't support.

    January 11, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  21. thomase

    "Ok guys this is going to be what happens there going to take away the guns from all of the honest people in the world that is trying to protect there family and its going to leave all the criminals with all the fire power they need almost none of the shootings are from people that gets there guns legal its all the illegal people that they need to find away of getting there's that's where it needs? to begin and his will never happen when the government is the biggest suppliers if they take away ours then they need to take them away from all law enforcement and military and i don't see that happening people guns don't kill people people kill people there is a reason why we use assault weapons we hunt with them and there is a good reason why other countries don't invade ours the know if they come here there going to have to fight every step of the way because everyone has a gun to defend them."

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Take a breath there bud, no ones actually taking away your guns.

    January 11, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Dma

    Amen Bob,
    you think that our President (who is from Chicago) would see that the regulations in the Windy City aren't working to well. Why would he want the regulations to be passed on to other places?

    January 11, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  23. irene

    NRA is out of touch with reality and will lose hard just like the billionaires who funded the GOP in 2012 did. We're not buying your 2nd amendment bs. Militia is a laugh. Do you really think you have a chance with your guns against tanks, drones, smart bombs, and weaponry we don't even know about? Your guns are nothing more than dangerous toys that kill innocent people and your right to brandish them ends where it puts the rest of us in harms way. Don't give us that arguement about needing more guns either because countries that ban guns don't have this American problem even though their kids watch the same violent movies. Local bans don't work because there are no border controls, only national bans work.

    January 11, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  24. Jeff

    Not sure what this gun show loop hole is. In Iowa, if purchasing from a dealer, you have to have a background check from the dealer no matter where you purchase the firearm. The only exceptions are if you have a permit to purchase or a permit to carry. To get those, you have to have a background check before being issued or renewed.

    January 11, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  25. DDW

    No one is talking about amending the 2nd amendment or taking away any guns. Heck own several guns, Military style assault rifles have no place in the hands of civilians. They are no good for hunting or target practice unless, you are a lousy shot.

    January 11, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
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