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. Unbeleveable

    I sit here and read all this, you anti gun nut's as i like to put it have no idea what the hell you are talking about. To Texasam you live in a make beleve world. I hope one day you wake up to what is really happening. Hunting,and shooting sport's has been a way of life in my family for many year's. We do'nt go around knocking you for the way you choose to live, so you have NO right passing any judgement on us. I have a word though for people like you who live in this make believe world. Another thing, this will kill thousand's of job's. Alot of place's will be put out of business. People who have families to support. So let's just put all these people out of work, just because you do'nt understand why. Again we do'nt pass judgement on the way you choose to live , well until now anyway. You anti gun nuts are clueless. If that lady would have had those gun's locked in a safe she and the other's would still be alive today. You do'nt punish everyone for just a few who screw up. I have been robbed before. I wish i had a gun at that time. Wake up.

    January 11, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  2. Falstaff

    When thinking of the NRA I am reminded of these words from Bassanio in "The Merchant of Venice":

    "How many cowards whose hearts are all as false as stairs of sand
    Wear yet upon their chins the beards of Hercules and frowning Mars
    Who inward searched have livers white as milk
    And these assume but valour's excrement to render them redoubted."

    January 11, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. Rachael

    if they will not agree to the guns in the schools then at least we should consider Taser Guns for our teachers and principles. this would be better then starting a cival war over gun control.... which the big picture should be the Mental health issue... Parents knowing that they have a depressed child should take the steps in helping them and not allowing any type of access to firearms. that is the problem the Parents dont want to take the responsiblity in saying there is something wrong with my child instead just want to turn the other direction, untill something like this happens then its well i knew they were depressed... how about stoping it before it happens come on people you were giving the best oppertunity in the world by being a parent now take some responsibilty with it.......

    January 11, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  4. Tom

    Freedom isn't safe, but we're still not giving it up.

    January 11, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. Dean

    I buy at gun shows and you go through a background check. Same lies and distortions from the left. Either way with all their emotion and vitriol you know its going to amount to some kind of gun control. Save yourself the headache and buy now before implementation of any Biden/Obama gun dictates or legislation. Also support organizations that represent your right to own a gun. Pick one you like – there are several good ones. If you left it up to these people you might not even be able to hunt in 5-10 years.

    January 11, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "Dear NRA: "Focus on the Mentally Ill" well – we ARE. We're focusing on you, aren't we??"


    January 11, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  7. Nietodarwin

    I grew up shooting many many firearms. I have never been a member of the NRA. I know people who USED to be members, who gave up their membership because of the NRA's horrible manipulation of politics. Sensible gun owners need to speak out and unite against the NRA. There are 100 million gun owners, and the NRA has only 4 million members. We've had so many shootings I can't even remember them all anymore. Time for change.

    January 11, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  8. Anthony in California

    @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?

    on the flip side... how are authorities supposed to protect anyone from anyone then?

    And if the argument is that citizens should have guns to protect them from government, then good luck stopping those drone strikes as you reload your AR...

    January 11, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. Margaret Adams

    How does one go about being a member of the NRA? I would like to join.

    January 11, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair

    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.
    Well, I cannot speak for the whole "Christian Conservative faction" as you label it, but as someone who probably qualifies as a Christian Conservative (in your eyes), I can tell you what MY feelings are –

    1. On December 14, 2012, I cried in solidarity with the mothers, fathers, friends, relatives, loved ones, and complete strangers – my neighbors just to my South on the loss of 26 innocents. I despise the loss of life.
    2. On January 22, 2013, I will cry in solidarity with over 40 million innocents killed legally in this country since Janyary 22, 1973. I despise the loss of life.
    3. I will continue to oppose the death penalty, since our judicial system is flawed and leaves open the possibility of innocents being killed. I despise the loss of life.
    4. I completely reject the notion that more so-called "gun control" will improve safety ONE BIT. A nut job intent on mass murder will inevitably commit mass murder. I despise the loss of life.

    January 11, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  11. Jim

    In the end it is not about guns, its about freedom. The people on the left can stand stand freedom and won't tolerate it.

    January 11, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  12. v_mag

    The NRA is promoting a domestic arms race. We all know how that turned out for Reagan. He put the country 5 trillion further in debt and edged the country to the brink of nuclear war. And the ironic part is the level of cowardice, selfishness, and "common stupidity" shown by the NRA, who call their proposals "common sense". I have toenail clippings that are more intelligent than that.

    January 11, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. Survivorman

    The NRA not only is the main lobby organization for the gun industry, but they're indirectly the lobbyists for many criminal & terrorist organizations who line-up gun show after gun show to purchase military-style weapons.

    January 11, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  14. Ganon Lang

    The NRA finally met it's match, that merchant of death organization will be tamed and subdued by the peace monger Barrack Obama.

    January 11, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. Dennis Brown

    I really like FLORIDASBOY's comment....Wow! what a stud.
    He's already for that foreign invasion, America,...no need to worry folks...he and his buddies got your back.
    Floridasboy don't suffer from insanity....he enjoy's it.
    Get yourself a job, and get out of your mother's bedroom...you're making yourself look like an real idiot!

    January 11, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  16. v_mag

    Fair is Fair said: "4. I completely reject the notion that more so-called "gun control" will improve safety ONE BIT. A nut job intent on mass murder will inevitably commit mass murder."
    Well, to be fair, Fair, Australia did vastly improve safety with "gun control". Why not the U.S.? Are we just too ignorant a country to learn from the example of other countries? Did we have mass murderers prior to the advent of modern guns? What sort of weapon would such a person use, in a land with no high capacity weapons?

    And congratulations on having the good sense to reject the death penalty.

    January 11, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  17. California Gary

    Funny stuff Small PP........I think I've had one of those drones following me around too........

    January 11, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  18. Evergreen

    The government is "We the People" so who decides when the government becomer tyrannical. Our government supposedly represents the will of the majority. So, for instances if 1.5 percent of the population thinks their should be a revolution, would'nt that mean they would be at war with the rest of us.

    January 11, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  19. Larry L

    In Texas you can sell your "private weapons" at a gun show w/o a FFL or a background check. Legitimate gun dealers at shows (and elsewhere) require the background check. At least in Texas, the gun show "loophole" is real and is about the practice of selling weapons declared to be from a "private collection" – not from FFL gun shops. I can rent a table, place my "private collection" on the table and sell them with impunity – no records, no background check. Personally, I want to see proof of the person's name, age and residency – to protect myself.

    January 11, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  20. Oneslydragon

    The gun manufacturers and ammo manufactures do not want any kind of control. They want weapons available for everyone to have, including the criminals. For them, too much is never enough. Sales to gangs and thugs does nothing but help their bottom line, they know it and it is noting but the bottom line for them. They will do everything possible the ensure everyone can have a gun, they even want to arm the teachers, hahahaha, now that is funny.

    They play lip service when a shooting occurs and especially when it makes the headlines, like Sandy Hook or the many from Colorado and the latest in Taft. In reality, they do not really care. If they did, they would support some sort of controls. And just like I can not have a 1 megaton device to play with, why should anyone need a 50 Cal or any weapon that is automatic or clips that hold more than a dozen rounds?

    Oh, I forget so some can feel soooo macho!

    January 11, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  21. AdamofMadison

    The NRA is reprehensible and should be labeled a terrorist group. It is unbelievable that this "discussion" is even remotely necessary after the carnage we've all been witness to over the past couple of years. I have talked with friends from Germany, Denmark and Sweden about how this is being viewed by citizenry in their countries and they are totally appalled by the whole mess. If having a room full of 6 year olds being massacred isn't enough to warrant immediate action, then there is no hope. For the first time in my life, I am ashamed to be an American. (And, yeah... before you gun nuts can suggest it: I'd move out of this country in a minute if I had the money to do so.

    January 11, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. John Kerry

    The committe Obama set up with Biden chairing, should agree with the NRA instead of trying to argue with. The NRA did come out with the statement of attention should be on mental health, not the second ammendment. So, going wiith them, 3 out of every 4 people suffer or will suffer from depression. You wouldn't want anyone suffering depression, to own or have access to a gun. It really is that simple, isn't it? Like the NRA also says, it isn't guns that killl people, it is people that kill people. Again, if you have a number as high as every 3 out of 4 people do or will suffer from depression, you just don't allow this number access to guns. Because the weapon of choice by the mentally ill, surely the NRA can only agree to take away that choice. After all you are agreeing with them, in thc conclusion that the issue is mental illness. You also don't have to change or atteck the 2nd ammendment, just enforcing a safety issue for the mentally ill and that is, they cannot have access to or own a gun. Families with individuals suffering any form of mental illness cannot have or own a gun. That may be a stretch but think about what you would achieve. Safety of your children should be of the highest priority and removing the most commonly used weapon of choice is a BIG step.

    January 11, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  23. blake

    The far left needs to wake up. Guns don't kill people, abortions kill people.

    January 11, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. The Film Professor

    I'm sorry, but if you support citizens being able to own killing machines like our automatic weapons with high capacity magazines, then the tears you shed for those being murdered in our movie theaters and elementary schools are nothing but crocodile tears.

    January 11, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  25. snowyowl

    So it's about freedom? What about all the children, women, and men murdered via gun violence? Thousands in this country every year. Somebody sure took their freedom away, didn't they?

    January 11, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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