January 10th, 2013
08:19 PM ET
1 year 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. aaron

    I'm curious if the NRA is planning on using pictures of the bodies of murdered children to support their lunacy. Doubtful that they'd want reality to intersect with their BS.

    January 11, 2013 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  2. Garyinco

    It seems to me that if the NRA were really doing it's job it would be the group most interested and most involved in actually solving our gun violence problem. Republicans like to say that the government is not the solution but the problem and that the best solutions come from the private sector. In this case then should we not expect a fully comprehensive set of recommendations from gun manufacturers and the NRA as many in this country have become increasingly alarmed about the gun massacres that happen with increasing frequency. But all we hear are ridiculous suggestions to arm school teachers and the like. If the gun owners, manufacturers and the NRA want to minimize government intrusion on their access to guns, why aren't they the ones coming to the table with solutions that resonate with parents and schools, and more importantly people who don"t have and don't want guns. To constantly focus on the gun culture at the expense of the rest of us seems foolhardy. This is their issue, they should be a the forefront of developing an acceptable solution to the parties who don't share their need to bear arms, otherwise the rest of us are going to support a government led effort to resolve this serious problem. The NRA has somewhere in the vicinity of 4.5 million members. How many parents, and grandparents are there that don't own guns who will support much stronger gun regulation laws? 50 million, 100 million, 150 million? I would think the NRA and gun manufacturers would want to get really proactive with developing real, plausible and palatable (to non-gun owners) gun control solutions.

    January 11, 2013 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  3. craig

    Maybe the answer to the NRA problem is to keep making reasonable proposals. They'll keep fighting against anything and everything, and if they're running ads and doing mailings it's got to be hitting their bottom line. Do it enough, and they'll run out of money before they run out of idiots.

    January 11, 2013 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  4. Anthony Chadwell

    At the end of the day I do believe because of the crazy world we live in, tougher restrictions are needed due to the actions of a few. I can only hope it is restricting the type of magazines for example banana clips and tougher background checks. Cause at the end of the day guns don't kill people, people kill people. But on other hand why does anyone need mags that big? If you can't hit a buck within 5-10 from a semi auto assault rifle you might wanna make a few more trips to the range :) I guess we'll see...

    January 11, 2013 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  5. Charlton Heston

    I hope they spend billions just like the Koch bros. did trying to get Romney installed so they could rape Iran. The era of NRA power and respect is over.

    January 11, 2013 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  6. PL

    I keep seeing in CNN that gun shows do not require back ground checks. All guns shows here require back ground checks.

    January 11, 2013 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  7. irene

    The NRA is showing their desparation in a losing battle, no matter how many pro-gun losers they get to post here. Guns kill and your right to have one ends when it interferes with everybody else's right to live. More guns will not solve the problem, look at countries where guns bans are strictly enforced for real facts, not localities within the USA? Local cities and states that have gun bans will not work because they are carried over state and city lines. The national government has to step in. Also, stop blaming Hollywood. Kids in other countries see the same movies and play the same video games as American kids without the violence. Less guns is the only answer. We have to start somewhere, and now is the time to stop this insanity.

    January 11, 2013 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  8. irene

    The NRA is showing their desparation in a losing battle, no matter how many pro-gun losers they get to post here. Guns kill and your right to have one ends when it interferes with everybody else's right to live. More guns will not solve the problem, look at countries where guns bans are strictly enforced for real facts, not localities within the USA. Local cities and states that have gun bans will not work because they are carried over state and city lines. The national government has to step in. Also, stop blaming Hollywood. Kids in other countries see the same movies and play the same video games as American kids without the violence. Less guns is the only answer. We have to start somewhere, and now is the time to stop this insanity.

    January 11, 2013 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  9. Robert

    It amazes me that a single crazy person does a horriable act they blame the gun. Deal with the people and stop looking for something to blame. A killer would do the same with a knife but i dont see anyone give up their knives.

    January 11, 2013 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  10. Bob

    Why do we keep saying people at gun shows don't do background check? Every dealer at the gun shows do a check.
    The only time a check isn't done is in the parking lot between individuals. No dealer would jeopardize their FFL to not run the NICS

    January 11, 2013 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  11. Kimberly Colton-Pinder

    Piers or Anderson help! I'm a Columbine Survivor who sought Mental Health help, and now I am blackballed from purchasing/owning a firearm! I am being relegated to being a victim forever! Where is this story?! Now having "Mental Health Issues" is more stigmatized than ever! There needs to be MORE help for victims!

    January 11, 2013 04:22 am at 4:22 am |
  12. Tom

    The nation wants the nra to gear up for answers to stop the uncontrolled use of guns to commit murder across our land. I urge the nra members to support reaonable gun ownership and control. Be a part of the solution not an automatic roadblock.

    January 11, 2013 04:28 am at 4:28 am |
  13. Name lynn

    people all over the world is talking about the gun law an what can be done. I mean who can stop the people form getting guns an tell me who can stop killing an shooting, people dont like talking about god an dont want prayer in schools now you all wants the nra to do something about the gun law.

    January 11, 2013 04:52 am at 4:52 am |
  14. Joe

    The NRA membership has expanded to almost 1.5% of the population...I am so scared.

    January 11, 2013 05:09 am at 5:09 am |
  15. Rick1948

    I don't think the NRAs fear mongering is going to work this time.

    January 11, 2013 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  16. SuperDave

    I can't wait to hear the incredibly ridiculous excuses they will conjure up for having guns. I assume it will be more of the same lies. Members should really ask themselves why does their little gun club have so much money they can buy ads and pay millions in salaries to administrators and lobbyists.

    January 11, 2013 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  17. MightyMoo

    The NRA's guns everywhere campaign isn't going to work for one simple reason. A lot of people in America aren't responsible enough to have access to firearms. If the mother of the shooter who went on a rampage in that school was more responsible her son never would have gotten to her guns and she'd still be alive with all the other people that got killed.

    The NRA's policy will only make things worse for everyone because they're only concerned about their manufacturer backers sales, not the 2nd Amendment. The 2nd Amendment only suits them because it bumps up their profits and they don't care that it will cost more lives to make more sales.

    January 11, 2013 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  18. Mike

    We have to register our cars. Why not guns?

    January 11, 2013 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  19. awasis

    NRA = Parasites

    January 11, 2013 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  20. ddelcastillo

    Go ahead and waste money on ads. Ask the Romney campaign how effective that strategy was.

    January 11, 2013 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  21. Marie MD

    Simple math against this organization who thinks more guns is the answer. Four million members vs 300,000+
    They lose!

    January 11, 2013 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  22. CarolO

    We have regulations to drive our vehicle. It must be deemed safe, licensed and registered. We have food inspectors to make sure what we eat is safe, that our homes contain no asbestos, that paints do not contain lead and our medications do not contain poisons. But yet assault weapons are easier to buy than a pack of cigarettes.

    People need to keep in mind the NRA is simply a lobbyist and their one mission is the sale of guns. They need to care about the safety of our citizens, as well as making all those sales.

    January 11, 2013 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  23. rconatser1

    So the evil terrorist organization plans to buy, and push, their way on everyone else, like always. Hopefully, more sensible heads will prevail and we can finally get some common sense regulations in place that will help. They can claim anything they want, but the result of the NRA is the murder of innocent people. It's too bad it just can't fade away, like the KKK or big hair from the 80s.

    January 11, 2013 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  24. Roger

    The Fantasy Warriors Gun Club is gearing up for a fight.

    January 11, 2013 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  25. snowdogg

    NoReasonableAccommodation

    January 11, 2013 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
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