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. DaveC

    You left out one important venue for buying firearms, dpingman. Gun shows. No background checks, nothing. 40 percent of the purchases are done there. The antique gun show that went on beside of Newton after the shooting is a perfect example. Did anyone know that the first M16 was produced in the middle 60s? That makes it an antique weapon (greater than 25 years old). Therefore if the M16 being sold has a low serial number it can be sold at this gun show and the buyer need not submit to a background check or anything. How about an M14. Just a deadly a weapon and even easier to convert to automatic. Bet there were plenty of them there.

    I am sorry but this is just plain stupid. Stop these gun show sales once and for all. If you want to buy a gun you have to buy it at a dealer plain and simple.

    January 11, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. Just Dumb

    Lisa P.
    You state "How about proposing some real world ideas for separating the "responsible" gun owners from the "irresponsible" gun owners, and keeping the latter from obtaining even more, ever more powerful and destructive firearms?"

    I'd like to propose taking a closer look into mental illness. However, Biden's group didn't include anyone from that field. Yet so many people claim insanity after their crime spree. There are more deaths caused by automobile accidents than guns each year, but I don't see anybody pushing to ban cars.

    January 11, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. Kent

    I thought the NRA was going to fund the armed guards. Now it's the federal government? What is this? The NRA branch of government spending our money along with the legislative, executive and judicial branches? This is not right. Maybe the NRA would like to provide liability insurance for all the damage guns do.

    January 11, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  4. What are you guys thinking

    If the citizens cannot have the same guns as police and the government how are we going to be able to protect ourselves from them? Having a lot of law enforcement friends that also believe the same I will use them to get my ammo and guns.

    January 11, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. Dma

    Here is a situation that could definitely be a real life issue.

    Our country is already in a state where the soccer mom needs some sort of protection for her kids. My wife has had her concealed to carry permit for over 7 years. Its amazing, not one incident yet.

    What if a parent was dropping their kid off at school, and seen an individual shooting through the glass of the front entrance of that school? If that parent did have a firearm, they could possibly help right away. Or if we had it where most of you want it, and the parent had only a pocket knife (because they abide by the laws and gun regulations, unlike the individual shooting through the front door of the school), they could call the authorities and wait for them to arrive. I have a license to carry, and I know the choice I would have made to hopefully save the lives of others.

    January 11, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. Lia

    I would like to know how they think banning any kind of gun will prevent mass killings.....ppl who want to kill WILL despite the laws. I never knew a criminal that obeyed the laws

    January 11, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. Mike Texoma

    The matter at issue is risk management. Gun ownership is not at stake, but the kind and capacity of guns and their accessories may well be. The constituional right to keep and bear arms is predicated on the need for a "well regulated" militia. Democracy works, so the need of a militia is now practically absent, But the need for a "well regulated" predicate to gun ownership is urgent. So, quit the hystrionics, folks, and lets get our heads together and come up with some well thought out regulations to manage the risk so that our kids can go to school and our families can go to the movies and our neighborhoods can be reasonably safe.

    January 11, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. Namerootntootncwby

    Looks like the guy that was shot with the revolver will live. Do you think he'll stop breaking in houses? Not likely. May be your house next time. With your family in danger. Wonder if that woman would have had high capacity magazine & unloaded all rounds if he would have survived to be a threat to someone else later on...

    January 11, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  9. Sean

    I am an active duty Soldier, husband, and father. I am a legal firearm owner and support law abiding citizens to own firearms, except for .50 cal sniper rifles or rocket launchers. A revision of how firearms are purchased should happen, ie mental health checks and people selling their owns firearms to others conduct background checks as well. If someone is buying a firearm for someone they know who is legally unable to purchase/own a firearm, hold them responisble if a crime is committed using that weapon. Banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines will not resolve the issues, firearms are just a tool, just like a hammer or kitchen knife. I do agree that assault rifles can cause more damage then a hammer, but that being said stopping the sale of assault rifles and high capacity magazines will not stop the ones that are out there. Especially because the majority of the firearms that are used in violent crimes have been stolen from the law abiding citizens.We have also passed numerous laws against drugs as well, not much has come from it. We legalized weed in two states so far, demand will now go up, leading to more drug violence because weed users are not going to buy from a legitiment store that will tax the hell out of it, if they can buy it cheaper on the street. Look at the bigger picture, look into why people are committing these horrible acts, not what they used, because one can do mag changes with a 10 round magazine in a second and cause a lot of damage with a pistol or do what timothy mcveigh did and not use assault rifle at all.

    January 11, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. Lisa P.

    As for those who want to pretend that the Second Amendment was intended to allow citizens to arm themselves against their own government, here is the text in it's entirety:

    Amendment II

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Funny how the "well regulated Militia" and "security of a free State" parts keep on being left out of the discussion, as if the Founding Fathers just tossed those key phrases in as filler.

    Gun ownership is a right, but all rights in our Constitution come with responsibilities. Modern citizen-gun owners have been falling down on the job. We life, liberty and happiness pursuers have had enough of their careless idiocy. Regulate yourselves well or we will impose regulations on you in the interests of a secure, free State and the life liberty and happiness of everyone inhabiting it.

    January 11, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. Daniel

    Thats not what Keene said at all. He said he completely supported background checks in all aspects but didn't see how they could be enforced on the "private" level transactions. He also said that those deemed to be mentally unstable and dangerous(schizo) should be on the "list" nationwide of those who cannot purchase firearms.

    January 11, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  12. TexaSAM

    Remember when rules for flying changed? Remember FISA? Remember how the LEFT complained how spying on Americans was unconstitutional? However, many on the RIGHT insisted it's no problem if you had nothing to hide? I see the same situation here. What's the big deal about registuring weapons of mass destruction on purchase? If you're one of the honest, responsible, careful citizens elegible to buy a gun, what's the problem?

    The military knows large clips & ARs are used to kill people & for nothing else. And so do the gun buyers. So, rest assured, if our military is ordered to take you out, it won't be like your Wild West fantasies – it's be with a tank or a daisy cutter.

    The days of a local militia a with a few guns protecting their town is outdated and the NRA knows that. They are clearly just greedy people profiting off the paranoid, mentally ill, and bigots in America.

    Times have changed and the NRA is about to see that.

    January 11, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. NickAnast


    you people who say no one "needs" a high capacity weapon...who needs a "killer high speed car"? oh, yes, people just "want" them!


    Ah, yes, the tired old guns vs. cars argument. OK, Einstein, let's compare: in order to legally drive a car, you need to both register your car and purchase insurance. So do you agree that all gun owners should be required to register their guns and purchase insurance? If your car is stolen, you have to report it to the police. The NRA vehemently opposes any laws that would require gun owners to report stolen or lost guns. Do you agree that gun owners should be required to report stolen/lost guns to the police?

    January 11, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. TomGI

    When you refer to the NRA you should rephrase your comment to be "NRA Leadership". There are a lot of good NRA members joined before the organization was hijacked by Wayne LaPierre and his crew. Back before the 80's they were a shooting sports organization but after the take over they became a cash cow for the leaders and spawned the ILA which is merely a lobby group intent on controlling the legislatures (Fed and States). They use strong arm tactics to be the primary agent for gun and ammo manufacturers and to some degree, gun retailers. It would be smart to end run any discussion with the NRA Leadership and talk directly to the members. There is a small faction that will stand in lock step with Keene and LaPierre but a strong majority will want to get to work finding solutions besides loading up our schools with armed guards or trying to threaten the peace of our nation with threats of confrontation. I urge every member to look closely at your leadership and whether or not they actually represent you when they try to pick a fight with Americans. Keene and LaPierre are making you look crazy foolish. Is that what YOU want?

    January 11, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. Pro2A

    This article says "Currently buyers at gun shows do not have to undergo the same background checks as buyers at gun stores." That is a bald faced lie. Most transactions at gun shows are between a private party and licensed dealer (FFL) and these transactions DO require a background check. Check the law before spouting off incorrect information...oh wait...that would conflict with your agenda...nevermind.

    January 11, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. Dma

    Lisa P, most of these shootings are being carried out by a person who steals the firearm and then uses it. Not the law abiding citizens.

    January 11, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  17. GunOwner

    Don't like guns? Don't have none. When your family is robbed or murdered, don't cry to those of who have the guns. I'm gonna stand & laugh in your face you sheeple. The NRA is here to make sure the govt (you sheeples supreme lord-Obama) doesn't destroy our constitution. You sit back & be walked over. I'm going to protect me & mine & if you show up at my door just know "Trespassers will be shot, survivors shot again...

    January 11, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. Joe

    VP Biden wants to stop any more tragedies from happen then face the real issue, it's NOT guns, it's NOT mental people, IT'S CRIME!!! Pass national law that is tough on criminals! If a criminal is found guilty and sentenced for 10 years then they need to do 10 years, NO more good time were they get out in 5. If a criminal brakes the law then they don't have any rights, now they have more rights then the law biding people. If a criminal gets out and commits another crime then they didn't learn and they don't care so lock them up and throw away the key! If a criminal kills someone, then hang them high. Yes, I said it and its B.S. that someone will say that's inhumane to do. Was the criminal humane in killing someone, NO!!! If the federal government passed TOUGH NATIONAL CRIMINAL CONTROL LAWS it would stop a lot of tragedies from happening! Passing stupid gun laws don't fix the problem it just makes more. A law was passed that Braking en Entering is illegal, but it has never and will never stop a criminal from doing it, unless they know they will be punished and punished hard if you brake the law!

    January 11, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  19. Pro2A

    Do the last four words of the Second Amendment mean nothing to you? Do you understand their meanings? Didn't think so.

    January 11, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  20. memo2

    Joe, now I know were is coming from the word spontaneous.

    January 11, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. Sane in Maine

    This is a gigantic problem that can't be resolved. The folks with the guns will use them – that's why they have them – and they will use them on people & politiciains that they think will "take their guns away". There are loads of gun cooks out there and they have the guns and amo and they are going to cause havoc and lots of if any attempt is made to reduce what they precieve as their rights. I wish it weren't so but it is and we need to face up to the fact that real effective gun control is pretty much a lost cause.

    January 11, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  22. Lisa P.

    Just Dumb

    Lisa P.
    You state "How about proposing some real world ideas for separating the "responsible" gun owners from the "irresponsible" gun owners, and keeping the latter from obtaining even more, ever more powerful and destructive firearms?"

    I'd like to propose taking a closer look into mental illness. However, Biden's group didn't include anyone from that field. Yet so many people claim insanity after their crime spree. There are more deaths caused by automobile accidents than guns each year, but I don't see anybody pushing to ban cars.
    January 11, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am

    Regulating firearms and firearm owners as heavily as we regulate motor vehicles and their drivers would be a good first step. Why aren't you proposing it? It seems to me that truly responsible law-abiding gun owners would have nothing more to fear than responsible law-abiding car owners and drivers. So why hasn't this happened already?

    January 11, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. Liberty Jim

    California Gary,

    The AR in AR-15 refers to ArmaLite, who originally produced the rifle before selling the design to Colt. Maybe google search before spouting a talking point next time.

    January 11, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. Soutie

    It is always astounding that some people will post without a clue to the subject they are opining about. an M16 is a Selective fire weapon no matter what your regulations say the man in the street cannot own one without extensive background checks a long waiting period. It is considered a Type 3 Weapon. Most states have Gun Show laws that require background checks and the same protocol as buying from a dealer even for private party sales. Lastly an M14 again is not available except with a special license however if you are talking about an M1A which is the civilian model it is a Single shout Semi Automatic and is so large and heavy that no sane individual is going to commit a crime with one. But wait most of these idiots are insane or claim to be and do not obey the law anyway.

    January 11, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  25. Dma

    so you do acknowledge that our govt will use tanks or other means to push a political agenda? Whether its guns, freedom of speech, or freedom of religion. Why should I trust a govt like that. You yourself have thoughts that our govt would do such horrific things, or else you would not have posted them.

    January 11, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
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