January 10th, 2013
08:19 PM ET
10 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.

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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. Free

    "The sword (Gun) is neither good nor is it evil, it just is...
    It is the hand that dictates whether it is used for good or
    if it is used for evil.
    A sword (Gun) may be used for oppressing innocent people.
    That same sword (Gun) can be used to emancipate the innocent from their Oppressors.
    But without a sword to wield, there is no hope for the innocent against brigand or tyrranical Governments."
    Tsun Tzu the Art of War

    January 11, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  2. Logic N LA

    Dan S is correct- most of us have comon sense. Stronger and deeper background checks. Longer waiting periods, litmited clip size and banning true assault weapons are all just plain logic. The one fact no one can dispute is guns kill. They are designed for that purpose, they were concieved for that purpose and will always have that purpose. But since humans are not as definite, who and what people possess them is an issue up for discussion. Obviously there are sane gun owners or we would all be dead with over 380 million guns out there. But it only takes a few to make laws and restraint necessary.

    January 11, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. Clyde

    Why is this a surprise? The NRA is a wholly owned subsidiary of weapons manufacturers. They wont be happy until All Americans have unfettered access to any weapon that they want and can afford. We are a nation of hillbillies. That will never change.

    January 11, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  4. I'm confused

    The NRA's membership just increased from 4,100,000 total members to a current total of 4,200,000. After a net gain of 100,000 members how exactly is it that NRA "officials" figure they are going to find the 800,000 (i.e. just shy of 1 million) additional members necessary to "THINK THEY WILL SOON REACH 5 MILLION"?!?!?!?!?!?!? lmfao!!!!!!!

    January 11, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. Free

    Society is not really that much different, with the exception of the lack of Character that is taught in Churches and supported by schools.
    Now, it maybe taught in churches, Temples, and other places of worship but the school is now hostile to the ideas.
    Character was established through laws that were primarily taught through religion. Now that Religion is being debased by schools you are seeing the ramifications of those actions.

    It matters not which religion you speak of but most teach 3 basic tenets; Love God, Love Others, Show Respect.
    These things are taught in places of worship (generalization of course) but are under daily assault; by whom?
    The exact people who are asking "Why? Why?"
    Key is is it's not the Gun. It's the undermining of societal controls of God and Country and Decency to your fellow man.

    January 11, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. smittysmithsonite

    There is no such thing as "common sense" gun control. That's an oxymoron. Not one shred of sense is applied to gun laws. NO LAW OR LAWS they plan to enact will stop a madman from committing atrocities to humanity. That's a fact ... AND COMMON SENSE!

    January 11, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. Iamnotfooled

    The more the extremists come out, the more the majority can see who is right. The spokespersons I have seen so far are not helping their cause at all. Acting like raving lunatics ready to pick up their guns and start killing people proves they should not own guns.

    January 11, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  8. ray

    comon americans, we never heard some much out cry when you had a white president, be honest. its all about a blackman been in the whitehouse i wish and pray people shoot all republicans. i will pray everyday for that

    January 11, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  9. Free

    "Laws and freedom are for a moral and just people."

    January 11, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  10. Vickie Holbrook

    It doesn't matter how many laws are enacted to keep guns out of people's hands. The crazies will always find a way and wouldn't you rather be armed than at their mercy. If you take them away, only the criminals will have them. The NRA stands up for the Second Amendment Right to bear arms and I completely support them. The government is sticking their nose in everything we do and it's time for SOMEBODY to stand up. The NRA is doing that.

    January 11, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  11. Free

    Gun stats show per the N.C.I.J.S. that when people have been issued the ability to defend themselves crime drops anywhere between 35 and 50%
    Anywhere Gun Caontrol Including the City Of Chicago Obama's adopted home town when Gun Control is enacted Murders and Robberies increase by that same amount.
    Because it turns people from being sheep dogs, and makes them sheep to be brought to the slaughter.

    January 11, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  12. Stop SSRIs

    The doctors who prescribe SSRIs like prozac to children are destroying America. Doctors should be arrested and drug companies held accountable for the insanity they have created.

    January 11, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  13. Jim Hahn

    Next thing you know the White Supremacists will be doing the same. Do you really need a semi-automatic rifle or pistol to hunt with (hunting creatures other than humans, that is)? Do you need a 10 round + clip to go with it?

    January 11, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  14. Free

    Don't need AR 15's don't need high capacity mags? Were any of you in Los Angeles during the Riots? I was..., How about Katrina, how about Watts riots...., you keep thinking you don't need high capacity rounds. Then when the mass of people drag you from your home, and rape your wife or kids and that's the last things your dying eyes see..., ask yourself is gun control worth it?

    January 11, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. apple pie

    The thought that any elected official could lose their seat simply because they voted yes on a stricter gun law is insane. What kind of iddiots vote like that? I guess people who, like children, don't give a dam about anyone or anything else but themselves and their toys.

    January 11, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  16. Travis

    Gun shows have the same background checks as if you bought from the dealer in their store.

    January 11, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. time

    Intellegent ppl do not need auto or semi-automatic rifles with massive clips to feel free in a free country. When the 2nd ammendment became law in the 1790's we had one shot firing muskets before Gatling came around later on and that gun he invented had to be pulled around by a horse and was in posession of the US military exclusively of the day and now today the NRA who are demanding to be ultra free with the new and improved hand helds for everybody. Where's Lassie when ya need her.

    January 11, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. Eric

    How can the NRA be against stricter background checks at gun shows? This is a common-sense option that every law-abiding citizen should embrace.

    January 11, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  19. Free

    Study History; White Supremist and Aryan's also known as Iranian in Farsi fought on the same side in WWII. Yes the Hanjar were 2 brigades of 7 Waffen SS were Iranians and Eastern Block Muslims lead by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Yassar Arafat's Uncle.
    They were also SOCIALISTS just like the Liberal Democrats..., which there first step to Mass Murder was taking weapons from the masses!
    Nazi Weapons Act of 1938 (Translated to English)

    * Classified guns for "sporting purposes".
    * All citizens who wished to purchase firearms had to register with the Nazi officials and have a background check.
    * Presumed German citizens were hostile and thereby exempted Nazis from the gun control law.
    * Gave Nazis unrestricted power to decide what kinds of firearms could, or could not be owned by private persons.
    * The types of ammunition that were legal were subject to control by bureaucrats.
    * Juveniles under 18 years could not buy firearms and ammunition.

    January 11, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  20. Free

    Sound familiar We all know what happened after that anywhere between 11 million and 16 million Jews and Christians died at the hands of the Nazis.

    January 11, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  21. brian

    Here is an option. How about instead of background checks to buy ammo use a similar method that is currently used for purchase of Sudafed and if joe snuffy tries to buy .308 ammo but does not have a weapon of that caliber registered to him then they cannot buy that ammo. This would solve the problem of obtaining large amounts of ammo for use with unregistered weapons. Part two I think if in the case of the school shootings the parents of the individual that used mom and dads guns should be held accountable as if they were the ones doing the shooting because if there weapons were properly secured then there kids would not have been able to use them. Any thoughts?

    January 12, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  22. m

    The last sentence is incorrect. The same laws for background checks apply everywhere. There is no special exception for gunshows.

    January 12, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  23. Justin

    I personally do not believe that we should have guns. AT ALL. The military and police, if they want to follow stricter rules about their use, then yes, they should be allowed to have guns. People cannot be trusted. They abuse most of the rights we have as American citizens, then cry like little babies when they get caught and try to point the finger elsewhere. With the influx of extreme violence on the television, in movies, and most importantly, in music such as GANGSTER RAP, people are programming themselves to go insane and hurt innocents. Get the guns off the streets and out of the hands or regular people. They DO NOT NEED THEM in 2013. If you look at the statistics involving gun use in our country, 1 out of about 1000 or more cases involved someone using a gun for self defense. 1 out of 1000. The rest revolved around people using guns to hurt, intimidate, kill or even rape. This is disgusting and you people cannot be trusted. Say good bye to feeling like a big bad action movie star. It doesn't fit you anyway.

    January 12, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
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