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. yogi

    @ 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.

    If you are using that argument you conveniently mention only "the last few years" because if you would go a little further there was 9/11, and the war in Iraq under the great leadership of the ultimate cowboy.

    January 11, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Dma wrote:

    "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."

    Funny how that works. The guns are stolen from law abiding citizens...who were careless with their guns.


    Pro2A wrote:

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

    Have you ever tried reading the first four words? Ever tried the next reading the next nine words?

    The 2nd Amendment establishes how a national militia for national defense is to comprised of citizens. Unfortunately, survivalists think it means that they can gear up and conduct their own personal wars. Those are the very people who need their guns taken away.

    January 11, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. on StreetWise

    Carry a BIG STICK to that gun fight with the NRA boys... and speak softly Joe.

    January 11, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. WillyNilly

    There has to be an agreement to remove the high capacity murder guns and ammo from the possession of looney people (see Alex Jones). You have to have insurance on your car so you should have murder gun insurance too. Use or lose a murder gun in your possession or make it accessible to others and you can't have insurance so your firearms are confiscated. Responsible people will have no problem with this. The whiny fearful rabid gun owners will have the same old baseless arguments.

    January 11, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  5. Larry L


    Perhaps we need to ban all cars that use fuel as a source of power! The scientist (ones who study theories and assumptions) say that global warming will kill millions of people if not regulated. If this is true and millions of people will die.
    In fact global climate change is a serious problem – another problem the right-wing faces with dishonesty, denial and delusion. Foolish dialogue will ultimately cause those who want reasonable guns laws to simply ignore your input and create regulations they consider appropriate. They are the majority in our democracy. Ridiculous analogies can be good for dramatic impact – but they don't replace pragmatic solutions.

    January 11, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  6. joejeffrey

    Everyone who doesn't believe guns are the answer should keep one thing in mind, as this unfolds: this is a RELIGIOUS fight. People who believe in guns believe in them the same way committed religious people believe in their religion: they simply believe. It's dogma; facts and statistics are completely irrelevant. You can't argue a priest out of his belief in the Trinity, and you can't argue a gun believer out of his belief in guns. The facts about guns make NO difference to these guys. They don't think that way, usually can't think that way, and really, truly, don't understand that having more guns makes things more dangerous. They really do feel safer because they have guns, and they really do think not allowing them to have assault rifles threatens their lives. They can't understand statistics, and so are suckers for the phony statistics out there. Bigham is a good example: he really believes he's keeping America safe. The poor sap. To him and people like him, guns are God; it's never productive to try to argue someone out of their religion.

    January 11, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. Steve

    Yes, if I were the NRA I would gear up for a "fight". I just think we should all realize who the NRA is fighting. They are likely to be fighting the Obama administration. They will also be fighting twenty dead children and six dead teachers at an elementary school in Connecticut. They should be fighting these individual's families. They should be fighting all the victims and families of victims of similar shootings. I am sure the NRA will hide behind the moniker of it "being their right" and "it being the right thing to do". Personally, I attempt to pick fights against people who at least might have a chance to fight back. But, not the NRA. I feel about 100% certain they will be fighting Gabby Giffords and her husband. I know if I had any say in the matter I would want to be a person the NRA felt they had to fight on this. Everyone can decide if they would be such a person, ambivalent, or staunchly on the side of the NRA. I just know how I feel.

    January 11, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  8. Dma

    there are groups that dont have a majority telling people what to do every day. This is nothing new.

    January 11, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  9. Jesus

    Its simple ... folks get to keep handguns, hunting rifles etc .. then you ban high capacity weapons and military style assult weapons – set up a program where the gov buys these weapons for about a year (or whatever they figure is best) a period after where you give it back and then whomever gets caught with one afterwards gets some jail time. Thats how you clean this place out. For the record .. I support people having hand guns and hunting rifles etc (I want to keep my handgun)

    January 11, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  10. Harald

    Most gun nuts are conservatives, so they don't vote for Democrats anyway, therefore, why should democratic politicians care if they climb the barricades ?

    January 11, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. tami

    i am so proud to be CANADIAN

    January 11, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. papanez

    Mr. Bigham; I hope to God you don't own any guns or know anyone that does because it sounds as though you've been inhaling alot of gunsmoke and perhaps sprinkling some on your corn flakes. What in the world are you talking about?

    January 11, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  13. transpErancy

    So... if I am understanding correctly, the NRA sees no middle ground? I mean, they won't even go for gun registration? Completely illogical - here they are claiming that the Dems are bullying them, but they can't figure out how to have a rationale conversation on issues without saying the answer to our problems is more guns.

    January 11, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. TexaSAM

    The paranoia here is so thick I could cut it with a knife. Why do so many here think the govt is coming to take your guns away? Where's your evidence? Where does your paranoia come from? Why is everyone so afraid of others? I've never had a problem with crime in my life. I stay away from bad areas, walk at night in groups, utilize locks & alarms in my house, drive kindly and don't get into arguments with crazy people to set then off. Yes, I know 2 people who were attacked: One by her husband with a knife – she survived. The other was shot in the face & killed by his Navy buddy "friend". My personal experience tells me it's not "criminals" I need to fear, it's gun owners.

    January 11, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    How come Christian Conservative faction has been so quiet? I mean, they haven't even offered words of consolation, or anything. They normally have a loud opinion about everything, especially when it comes to matters of life, death, safety and security. All that we've from them has been crickets.

    January 11, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. jerseylou

    The NRA needs baby wolf killer palin and shoot them in the face cheney to represent them.So this can be a fair fight.

    January 11, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. Daverelentless

    Everyone in favor of the leaders of the NRA meeting up with Holmes in a dark Theatre, raise your hands.

    January 11, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. gino

    Two NRA members are walking down the street to a gun shop to get ammunition for their assault rifles, discussing the probability of the government taking away their guns.

    One looks over his shoulder, turns to the other and whispers:, "Don't look now, but who are those paranoids following us?"

    January 11, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. ug

    I am with the NRA...now bring it on Ovomit one and all you lib terrorists!

    January 11, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  20. Ordinary Average American

    @TexaSAM . . . I couldn't agree with you more. After seeing Alex Jones on Piers Morgan's program and the anger, intolerance and outright violence he showed, I'm afraid of gun toters, too! I don't want to live in a country where I have to carry a weapon or be considered some kind of loser victim who asked for it by NOT being armed and ready for a fight at any moment!

    January 11, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  21. Scarface86

    TexaSam, I guess you are paranoid if you have to use an alarm in your house. Let me guess. You are afraid of law abiding gun owners, so you lock yourself in your house. Further, who is paranoid? I would say the gun control freaks are paranoid that they will be a victim of a violent crime when violent crime is down.

    January 11, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  22. sickofit

    I don't own guns myself. I have the utmost sympathy for the families of anyone who is taken before their time.....but we have the second amendment for a reason and that reason is so we can defend our selves against our tyranical government, which is exactly what we have today. This is the perfect crisis for the Feds to take advantage of. I feel we are nearing a point of great change in this country and not change for the better. If you want to be able to defend yourself from our out of control government, which should be near the top of the list of major issues today, you should support the NRA. Now, before someone starts cursing me out, let me clarify. Our government is responsible for the lack of proper enforcement of the laws currently on the books, just like the illegal immigration issue. "Our" government is responsible for the lack of proper health care for all. "Our" government is responssilble for the inequality we see as well. How? you ask. Simple. It's their game, they make all the rules and they can make or break you with their policies. Look how well most of us arn't doing. Look how well "our leadrs" are doing for themselves. The U.S. government is broken beyond repair. If people want to point fingers start at the source. Enforce the laws on the books and don't let tham take away the last resort we have to protect ourselves against them. Schools can be secured much better than they currently are. It's too bad that "our" government is more concerned about corporations and the global military corporate complex than it's citizens. In my 42 years I haven't seen a single thing improve and I don't ever expect to as long as we have a government bought and paid for by the highest bidders. I know.... "what about the NRA?" The NRA is big but it isn't among the biggest corruptor's of our government. Look at Halliburton, G.E., Dupont, Monsanto, Ford, etc... if you want to see the real players.

    January 11, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  23. kmac

    So many people often write about their need for a gun to oppose their government. If thats the case, if you really fear the Democratic Republic Governmental System perhaps you need to live somewhere else. One should not live in fear of the government that is democraticly elected, created by the citizens, made up of citizens of the country. They fear their fellow country men and it they who are out of step with the population.

    January 11, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  24. Laurie in Spokane

    Good, Let the NRA gear up for a fight. Don't kow what kind of valid arguments they can come up with tho. Assault rifles and multi round clips for Joe citizen? to what purpose? to Kill people only. Of course, retricting sales of those arms will keep wackos from getting hold of them, but might keep one of them from a killing spree and make it harder to get the ammo.

    January 11, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  25. rs

    They HAVE no evidence. They've been listening to Crazy Wayne La Pierre (and the nutjob RW media) for too long). These folks are delusional and nicely demonstrate why they shouldn't be trusted with guns. They're nuts!

    January 11, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
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