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. Caman

    The right to bear arms. To me bear means to carry so that is a very broad term. Until that is changed a alot of us are going to own a variety of weaponry that anti-gun people find repulsive. If it annoys people like Obama/Biden all the better. If Obama enacts something on guns by an arbitrary decrees that is okay too because I want to see what happens. I know a lot of gun owners and a lot of us agree on nothing but owning a gun.

    January 11, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. Uncle Joe

    Most of the lawmakers promoting so-called "gun control" do not know the difference between a revolver or a semi-automatic pistol.
    One of the loudest advocates for gun control is California's Diane Fienstein, who use to have a carry permit for a handgun. Also take into account members of Congress have armed protection; as do many of these Hollywood celebrities (Michael Moore's bodyguard was arrested for carry a gun in NYC) who are featured in a video calling for more gun restrictions. Yet these same actors have no problem appearing in movies where guns and violence are the main themes.
    I just wish there was a serious discussion about how to deal with the violence in our country instead of all this political posturing.

    January 11, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. GBfromOhio

    The NRA spent a ton of money on candidates and issues during the election also and lost almost every race, had something like a 98% failure rate. It's a myth that the NRA can ruin a candidate, they are the barking dog with no teeth. Since politicians have no backbones or integrity they need to be assured by the rest of us (including the 74% of NRA members that want sensible measures in place) that efforts to stop the gun proliferation insanity will not mean political suicide and in fact will be rewarded come election time.

    January 11, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. Pro2A


    The difference between gun ownership and driving a car is pretty clear. Gun ownership is a right affirmed by the Second Amendment and as written, "shall not be infringed". Driving a car is NOT a right, but a privilege. Registration is illegal and prohibited. Read about FOPA, signed into law in May of 1986.

    January 11, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. ...

    They talk about these so-called "assault rifles" and yet they are rarely used in crime (part of that could be because they are very expensive). In fact rifles of any type are rarely used, constituting only about 3% of homicides. They tout that high homicide rate, but really, maybe they should just ban drugs since that is what most of these homicides are over... er, wait. How's that "war on drugs" working out? Did you know that the fed's war on drugs has created a REAL war south of the border, where people are beheaded in broad daylight in the middle of Main Street and women are trafficked into forced prostitution. And it has spilled over to the US side. That's what their "war" has gotten us. Very real crime, very real mafia. They obviously learned nothing from Prohibition.

    Gun control does not work. Look at the study by Don Kates and Gary Mauser of Harvard University, "Would banning firearms reduce murder and suicide?" The answer is NO! In countries with lower numbers of guns, they have more violent crime. Countries with more guns (that are not in the throes of civil unrest or war) have less violent crime. The UK has 3.5x the number of burglaries per capita as the United States. Their police are so covered up in crime, that they don't even bother to investigate crime deemed "petty" which includes burglary.

    January 11, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. DRWDRW123

    Nothing on this site about taxes being raise across the board – duped again Obama voters? No one saw that coming?

    Guns = I have been a gun owner over 30 years. I have a few hand guns as well. I have never abused my rights nor have I ever misused any of my weapons. I have a carry permit.

    Answer = strict purchase laws for guns and ammunition of any type. Thorough background checks for purchases of guns and ammunition of any type. Mandatory gun handling/safety courses and license prior to first purchase including live fire range weapons training. Mandatory five year renewal of courses. VERY strict laws on possession of a gun without a license and training and use of a weapon in any unlawful way. Strict gun storage laws.

    There are ways to manage this properly. Too many people out there that do not know how to operate and handle a gun properly and have no business with a gun. Too many people on psychotic drugs. Too many people on drugs period. Need tougher laws on drug distribution by MD's as well.

    Take guns away from law abiding citizens and you give criminals the green light. Crimes involving guns has more than doubled in the England and Wales since the Dunblane massacre ban on the weapons. In Australia armed robberies have climbed nearly 45 percent since the ban.

    Wake up people.

    January 11, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. Dma


    so you say a gun is the same as a car in respects to regulations. Are you insinuating that more regulations on firearms (such as registrations) would lower the amount of shootings across the country? I guess you would also think that stolen cars have steadily declined since all cars are registered? How will registering firearms lower the act of violence? A criminal will get a tool of any sort to achieve their objective.

    January 11, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  8. Bob Cartia

    I am sitting here reading these posts about "no one needing an assaut rifle" as I see, it this fight, is about infringement upon my 2nd Ammendment rights,,, why should government be allowed to tell me what gun I'm allowed to own.. Government has already started taking away Americas 1st Ammentment right by not allowing prayer in school, no reciting the Pledge of Allegiance,, not being allowed to display Nativity scenes at Christmas,,, This is the start of taking away Americas rights.. If tomorrow government said that the ONLY religion that can be practiced is through the Catholic church,,,, everyone commenting on here would want guns to protect their right to freedom of religion, i guarantee it.. The most deadly religion in the world is the Muslim religion,,, any good practicing Muslim believes that the only good non muslim is a dead non muslim,,, these are the facts people. But the government would never think of saying that people cant practice the Muslim religion,, in fact they want laws to make no negative comments what so ever regarding Muslims.... Think before you infringe on someones rights in anyway,,, it might be me and other gun owners that someday might have to take up to defend your rights as a free American...

    January 11, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  9. California Gary

    Thanks guys, for the clarification on what "AR" stands for. It was an assumption on my part, because I know the "M" in M-14 or M-16 stands for military.......but it doesn't change the fact that a rifle designed to fire a large number of rounds in a short period of time is designed as an anti-personnel weapon (or assault rifle if you will). And yes JPS, I do know about the auto select feature on the M-16 vs the semi-automatic only feature of the AR-15. I qualified expert on the M-14 and later on the M-16 many years ago.......and then on the .45 caliber pistol when I reached the rank of SSgt. Neither these, nor their civilian equivalents, are "sporting" weapons and there is no rational for a civilian to own such weapons in my view. Just like they don't need hand granades, mortors, or hand held rocket launchers. On the other hand, a well placed Claymore near the front door may be effective against door to door venders......I've been tempted in that regard.

    January 11, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. AnthonyS

    What I find wrong is also with the Gun Show sales. It should NOT be a cash-and-carry transaction. You SHOULD have to fill out the proper paperwork/background checks/etc. Then when it clears, the gun is shipped to your local gun retailer for pickup. This is only ONE way to weed out potential "criminals" possessing firearms other than black market/street sales, which are usually stolen firearms with the serial numbers scratched off.

    January 11, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. Larry L

    @Fair is Fair


    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
    Once again, I have 2 handguns – an S&W .38 revolver, and a 9 MM Glock. Both of these are "semi-automatic". You're telling me I have "no lucid reason on earth" to own these hand guns?
    ============================================================================================== This is what happens when gun lobbies like the N.R.A. fail to seriously works towards a solution. People who know nothing about guns will ultimately make the laws if gun-owners offer nothing but the "Nothing stops a bad guy...." or or the "guns don't kill people..." sound bites. It fails the common sense test with non-gun owners and they are the majority. Your weapons are perfectly suited for self-defense and for just shooting for fun. A purist might consider the S&W a double-action revolver but those sort of semantics just cloud the issue. Does the Glock need a 30-round magazine? It could be fun to shoot (expensive!) but it's the sort of compromise that would make sense to concerned people who live apart from the firearms culture.

    January 11, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. Larry in Houston

    I guess i don't have to worry about it – me my family, & my friends have "un-registered" guns & rifles. If they come after those who have the "registered" ones ( this means the guns they Know Of ) – – Then So Be It – take 'em all – at least they don't know – that I still have Mine. Maybe I'll need to know & learn how to shoot small game again – Mine has been under lock & key for 40 years. I buy my Meat from Kroger's , it's costs too much for shells / hunting clothes / getting out in the cold / cleaning your own game / >yuk< no wonder "Krogering" is the best alternative.

    January 11, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. yogi

    America is potentially the greatest country in the world but it will be a while. There are many elements to civilization and one of them is glaring us in the face: Guns, and the need to get rid of them all.
    Many people will stop reading here because they think it is a crazy thought. The only purpose of using a gun is to kill, and the only valid reason to do that is for protection, but that means that you have to carry the gun with you all the time because you never know when you will need it, and then you hope you are faster than the person threatening to shoot you.
    The NRA's sole motivation is to get more guns in society, it is all about profit for the industry, and yes, the NRA has blood on their hands.

    January 11, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. Mike

    You are all stupid, I mean COME on. The firearms are NOT assault rifles, Real assault rifles are already heavily regulated . This is crazy. I am a pro gun owner. I know what the 2nd amendment is for, its to let us protect ourselves and our families agents foreign and DOMESTIC terrine. Do you think they will stop if this bill gets passed. No they will continue taking our rights. Look at an AR15 Is it fully auto/// NO then its not an assault rifle. No mater what it looks like. no mater how many bullets it has, Its not an assault rifle. You are being lied to if you think the news is right. I beg you all do more research before you give in to this ban. don't just watch the complete Left wing news and don't just watch the right hand news, Look at it yourself. Look at the term assault rifle look at what the 2nd amendment is for look at you tub, look on line. If your not willing to research it KEEP YOU uneducated moth shut. Gosh!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Crime rate went way up in Australia when the band firearms, The law abiding people turned them in. the criminals did not and the crime with weapons such as fire arms went up. Look it up.

    January 11, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Brendan Perez

    "Currently buyers at gun shows do not have to undergo the same background checks as buyers at gun stores."

    FALSE. Dealer sales, which comprise the majority of sales at guns shows, ALWAYS have to do background checks and fill out paperwork. Dealer sales everywhere always have to do background checks.

    Private sales, where a person who does not fit the ATF's criteria as being 'in the business' of selling firearms have NEVER had to do paperwork and were excluded from having to do background checks in 1993.

    Some states do require private sales at guns shows, or ALL private sales to do a background check.
    This is miles away from claiming that sales at gun shows are subject to different policies than anywhere else.

    Don't believe me? Read the law, or read the FAQ at the ATF's website

    January 11, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. Dma

    you are right on. Lets enforce the laws we already have. That guy who shot those fireman in the northeast a few weeks ago, had killed a family member with a hammer. If he was still behind bars or put to death for such a violent crime, those two fireman wouldn't have been shot by him. How can we trust the govt to decide who is mentally ill and who is not? Our officials let this guy out of prison because he was rehabilitated.They keep saying rehabilitation works, I don't see it.

    January 11, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. sifto

    Oh,clever one, NickAnast–what did i say ? Did I say they did not need to register to own a high capacity firearm? No, I did not...My point, which you sarcastically tried denigrate, was that high speed cars are no more necessary than said weapons-it is simply a matter of which one you wish to purchase and enjoy as a hobby..........maybe the cars, alcohol, violent video games, etc, should all be banned by Obama/Biden..don't forget knives and fists..........

    January 11, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. Shardik

    "The NRA's sole motivation is to get more guns in society,"

    The NRA's sole motivation is gathering money from their subscriber base. No different from any other hucksters.

    January 11, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  19. bill

    Absolutely nothing is more idiotic than for the NRA, GOP and other right wing extremists to say that we need more guns to ensure the safety of our schools, stores, church's, and society. This is America and not Iran. If the aforementioned terrorists want to live in a society with more favorable gun laws, then they should all move to the war torn country of their choice!

    January 11, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. Dma

    our govt officials have more blood on their hands. Bengazi, Mexican drug cartel, and every person let out of jail that commits a crime again. And thats just the last few years. Don't call out just the side you oppose for trying to make a dollar. Call out both sides.

    January 11, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  21. Craig

    People who think that the ownership of a gun is some right that was chiseled on stone tablets by the Almighty and carried down by Moses from Mt. Sinai simply fascinate me. The other people that fascinate me are those that think that any meaningful gun control can exist in a country where guns have been allowed to run rampant for hundreds of years.

    Both are their own special brand of stupid.

    January 11, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. Will

    Im pretty sure the NRA doesnt oppose you reporting your gun stolen considering for members they will replace your stolen firearm. See its kind of like an insurance. Pay to be a member, gun gets stolen, give them police report, they cut you a check to replace property. Gun is registered with them as well. So i dont know where half you people bashing the nra get your info from. I am a gun toting law abiding citizen who will protect and preserve life if it came to it to stop the bad guy. So no guns arent bad! Its bad people with them that make the rest of us look bad!

    January 11, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  23. kaliga

    If the nra wants to work on mental health issues, they need to start with alex jones!! Sorry, but that guy is NOT right in the head! Also, the argument that ALL guns should be legal because Americans need them to defend against a 'tyrannical government' is a FARSE. If that was really the case then nuclear weapons should be legal, because the government has those too!
    Finally, the argument that criminals can get guns so why even try to ban them is also a FARSE. If that was the case then why have ANY laws, because any and ALL laws get broken!

    January 11, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. GOP= Greed Over People (Party)

    Why wouldnt they?

    January 11, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    This was the opportunity for the NRA to take the lead on this issue by making their own recommendations. There is nothing wrong with thorough background checks on all gun purchases, including gun shows. If you are a law abiding ciitzen then you have nothing to fear from background checks. Should the sale of assualt rifles be banned–in my opinion, they should be. I can see no other use for them other than killing. Same reasoning goes for sale of high capacity ammo magazines. If you did these things then all gun owners would still be able to own guns without government interference–therefore protecting the 2nd amendment gun ownership rights. Instead the NRA chose to fight any and all recommendations by the committee by using the worn out reasoning that the government was going to come into every home in the country and seize all arms. Originally the NRA did promote gun safety and proper gun use but I guess along with all the money they have received, their power has increased in their own minds. Sadly, they chose to fight instead of take the lead on this issue.

    January 11, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
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