January 10th, 2013
08:19 PM ET
9 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. not my WMD

    I need a personal nuke to protect my house and yard.

    The right to strategic arms is a right under the constitution.

    Me personally, being a a well regulated Militia, shall not be infringed.

    Ted Nugent, another well regulated Militia, should know, when he is not a draft dodging.
    We defend our homes and amerika, from domestic and foreign threats.
    wingnuts turning in the wind, overcoming windmills.

    January 11, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. NEW GUY

    more children are harmed each yr in school bus accidents ( harmed ) yet we continue to let our kids jump in these weapons of mass harm every day -– i just wish people would take the emotion out of this debate and use common sence and logic.

    January 11, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. RS_Please

    I'm dissapointed but not surprised at the mostly lack of understanding by the comments here. You do have the right to voice your opinions but an honest evaluation of your comments reveals an ignorance of freedom, it's true meaning, and also the purpose of the 2nd amendment and constitution. I know most of you will keep spewing this ridiculousness but maybe someday you will understand.

    January 11, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. California Gary

    This is a fight that the NRA may not win this time around. They would be better served to work "with" the administration to craft new restrictions that everyone can live with rather than trying to make the case no new restrictions are needed. In light of the many mass shootings in recent times, doing "nothing" is just not an option anymore. By the way there Pete......if "assault rifle" is just a term used by the media to scare people.......can you tell me what the "AR" stands for in the designation of certain rifles?

    January 11, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. Lar 5

    Come on. Get real. The NRA is funded by gun manufacturers to sell guns to anyone, anywhere, with no backround checks That's what the NRA does. Pure greed

    January 11, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  6. sifto

    why not just enforce the laws we have?

    January 11, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. Patrick

    Nevermind hunting and defending your home, the 2nd Amendment is there to protect Americans against our own government and foreign governments, kind of like we Americans did against England and Kjing George..... heard of that incident!?!? And to think I've been a proud Democrat since I was a little kid and I love my STANDARD, not "high capacity" 30 round magazines. PROUD NRA MEMBER AND NOT BACKING DOWN.

    January 11, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  8. sonny chapman

    GUN NUTS-not hunters, those that have Daddy Issues or something, have SOME rights under the Second Amendment. But the 90% who don't fall into that category ALSO HAVE RIGHTS. We have the RIGHT to not see the news of a massacre every few months.

    January 11, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. trex

    ....This WOMAN, (yes guys, a GIRL) was able to defend her kid, her home and herself,.................with a SIX SHOOTER. She did NOT NEED a Bushmaster semi automatic rifle with an expanded 40 bullet clip to do it. THEREFORE, the NEED for UZI's and the like is NOT REQUIRED. A bolt action low powered rifle for deer hunting, a six shooter like this WOMAN USED for target shooting, and a double barreled shotgun for home security is ALL THAT YOU NEED. These semi automatics HAVE ...TO...GO...!!!!!!!

    January 11, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. Dma

    Maybe the gov't will limit the amount of minutes a person can buy on their cell each month to reduce deaths. See how many of you anti-constitutionalist would cry then. Who cares if I can shoot 40 rounds without reloading, I have been a gun owner for years, and to this day I have never killed anyone. (hopefully I will never have too). I shoot for fun and enjoyment, my wife and kids shoot right along side me. I teach them to respect the firearm and to use it properly.You people who drive and text at the same time while the kids are watching, are raising those kids to be more of a threat to other people than I am.

    January 11, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  11. Congressional Hypocrisy

    As much as I despise the NRA, I'm going to have to..... Wait, I despise them even more for trying to justify the enabling of domestic terrorism.

    There is absolutely no justification for automatic assault weapons and ammo being available to the general public.

    January 11, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  12. dpingman

    Your last statement is completely inaccurate. You MUST go through a background check in order to purchase a weapon from a gun show. Anyone that has a license to sell a firearm MUST get permission from the gov to sell those firearms. Please report the truth and facts. There are only three ways to obtain a firearm WITHOUT and Background. 1) Buy it from a private party. 2) Steal it. 3) Buy it on the black market. Why aren't these facts being reported?

    January 11, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  13. Name64daBlonde

    The citizens of the U.S.A. should definitely have the right to have a pistol or rifle for protection in their homes and one or two rifles for hunting purposes....there is NO lucid reason on Earth to own automatic or semi-automatic weapons on the premise of protection. The Ammendment was made in a time when using a rifle for protection was necessary BUT it was NOT made for people to interpret incorrectly to own ANY fire arm just cuz "semi-automatic weapons look cool and give me an adrenaline rush to shoot"!! We should NOT abuse this ammendment, but USE it in the manner in which it was intended to be used for, Nothing more!

    January 11, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  14. pkfops

    Owning a gun doesn't mean you will survive a firefight.

    We had an easy rule in the Army. If you see anyone with a gun you drop them, no questions asked.

    January 11, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  15. Ron Parton

    I think any sales of weapons no matter who buys them need to be checked. Yes I own guns and I will not give them up to the ternary rulers of this country. Its time to take a stand against the dictatorship of rulers trying to run our country.

    January 11, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. Larry L

    @Tom Hansen

    There are so many misinformed comments on this page its almost funny. Background checks ARE done at gun shows. The reason the 2nd amendment is there is to protect against an oppressive government.
    You are misinformed. Background checks ARE NOT DONE AT GUN SHOWS FOR WEAPONS FROM A PERSONAL COLLECTION – a widely abused practice! I've bought and sold many without any paperwork what-so-ever. Here in Texas it's a main reason to attend gun shows. Thousands exchange hands every month with no record.

    Your belief that the 2nd Amendment was created to help with treason is simply not true. Our founders were more concerned with foreign intervention, encroachment from other states, and mob rule. They did not insert some ridiculous clause so you (yourself) had the right to decide when our democratic government becomes "oppressive". The need for a well-regulated militia was a military option that allowed a poor nation to maintain a force rather than support a large standing army. You can find words from some of the writings of our founders to show their paranoia and distrust of all government. That doesn't say the 2nd Amendment says anything about your right to conduct sedition – nor does it define the level of "arms" you are allowed to possess. Now is the time for common sense rather than hyperbole from right-wing talk shows and N.R.A. sound bites.

    January 11, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  17. rdeleys

    Listen to some of you conservatives talk! Like sheep to the slaughter, you blindly march down the road towards fascism.

    January 11, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  18. Congressional Hypocrisy

    There is an organization that has invaded our culture, holds citizens of the United States hostage every few months, advocates the mistreatment of women, and enables domestic terrorism.

    Is it the Taliban? Al-Queda?

    No. It is the republican party.

    January 11, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  19. Kh

    Movies and video games are not the problem. They maybe contributing factors but parents who refuse to discipline their children is a huge factor. I see kids in early elementary who have no respect or
    empathy for anyone. They are the center of the universe and if they receive consequences for their behavior the parents are up in arms because their precious angel would never do anything wrong. We are now on the second generation of parents who want to be friends rather than parents. Buy them all the crap they want because you feel guilty for never spending real time with the kids. lDon't teach them to have any desire to work for what they want and god for bid never tell them no.Parents need to take off the blinders and pay attention to the signals that their kids send out. Newtown would not
    have happened if the parent would have admitted the child had a problem and tried harder to get him real help. Bonding with a child over shooting sports is great, we have done that with our own child, but not when you know your kid has mental issues. You can try to ban all the guns you want, but until everyone takes personal responsibility for their actions or inactions nothing will change. Fix the mental health system because crazy people will still find ways to do those awful things.

    January 11, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  20. Smeagel4T


    We must promote the profits of the gun industry at all costs!!!!

    Oh no wait... that's the script we use to get lobbying money from the gun industry. Let's see... How 'bout this one...

    We need more armed people everywhere so that the gun industry can sell more guns!!!

    No... no... wrong one again. Wait a minute... Oh ya here's the right script...

    Second Amendment!! Second Amendment!! Second Amendment!!

    January 11, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. Really

    Article title should actually be "NRA Gearing Up to Protect Our Children and Constitutional Right to Bear Arms"

    January 11, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  22. john

    There is just no reason for someone to have a clip or magazine that hold more than 10 rounds. It is just a "look at what I have" thing. Same for a AR-15 and all the variations of it.

    For the people who think the government is coming to take your guns, please get real.

    And If they did(which boarders on fantasyland thinking) what would your rifle do to a Abrams tank anyway.

    January 11, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. Dma

    Here you go California Gary,
    maybe you should study next time!

    The AR-15 is a common assualt rifle. Very similar in looks to an M-16, but not exactly.

    AR does NOT stand for Assault Rifle, as is commonly believed. AR stands for the original company that manufactured it, ArmaLite. ArmaLite sold their rights to the AR-10 and AR-15 designs in 1959 to Colt.

    January 11, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  24. judy

    the NRA is a dinosaur trying to scare the begeeses out of people. The government is not taking away the rights of the people to have guns. If they did you would have a much bigger problem . The NRA is a lobbiest group who spent 11 million dollars of gun owners money this past election and did not get one of their candidates elected. The NRA is irrelevant Use common sense. If they things suggested stop only one killing it is worth it.

    January 11, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  25. sifto

    CNN seems to be the propaganda artists–not the NRA–the misstatements in this article are unbelievable–also, it is not the NRA gearing up for a fight–it is the Obama/biden regime and its followers that are trying to dismantle an organization that believes in the 2nd amendment to our constitution and constantly works for the country to make sure we are safe from the bad guys in both government and private life....

    January 11, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
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