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. MaryM

    The NRA is becoming more and more irrelevant. Everyone knows the NRA is PAID millions to lobby for the gun manufacturers.
    They dont was anything to stand in the way of GUN SALES. Including background checks especially at gun shows.

    January 11, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. TexaSAM

    @Unbeleveable 1) you misspelled your screen name. 2) I do live in the real world – as I said, I know 2 victims of a violent crime – the one attacked with a knife survived. The one shot in the face with a gun by law biding, former Navy vet, died. I avoid trouble & have never been a victim. Sometimes I wonder if gun owner's egos or fantasies is what causes so many gun deaths. Some of them seem to be out looking for trouble – Joe Horn, George Zimmerman, not to mention the paranoid mentally ill like Alex Jones, Glenn Beck or Ted Nugent. Seriously, buddy, you support a guy who purposely acted crazy (avoided showers & crapped in his pants) to avoid fighting for his country, yet calls himself a PATRIOT? Please explain that logic to me.

    January 11, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. al

    A lot of folks with a lot of opinions. What seems to me is that this forum is drawing out the extremists on both ends of the issue. Perhaps if people spent less time trying to convince others of their extreme positions and worked to try and find some common ground that the majority of people could live with we might be able to actually do something about this problem. Its partly a mental health issue, partly and ease of access to firearms issue and it is partly an issue with our society today and how hard it is to live in thins country. But instead of us looking at the big picture we are focused on narrow parts of the problem.

    The NRA went into this with their mind already made up and I am certain that Biden went into this with them with all his preconceived notions and dislike of the NRA so neither side made progress.

    January 11, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  4. FreedomFighter


    Keep in mind that the American people voted for Vice President Joe Biden to help establish rules for our country.....not....the NRA! The silliness perpetuated by the NRA has gotten very old, their members are becoming irrelevant and it appears that their brains have atrophied.


    I didn't vote for Biden to establish rules of this country. The rules are already there - spelled out perfectly clear in the Bill of Rights, which guarantees the right to bear arms upon which the government cannot infringe.

    January 11, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. garettk

    As a gun owner (shotguns, handguns, and assorted rifles including assault) I dearly wish that gun control laws would magically stop murders from happening. If I could be guaranteed giving up my Glock would mean no more violent crimes, then I would because it would no longer be needed. But unfortunately, just like peopled intent on breaking the law by acquiring pot and smoking it, those intent on doing evil to others will still find a way. New laws only affect those that obey laws. Maybe we should just pass a law forbidding mass murder. Yeah, that should do it.

    January 11, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. Uri Nation

    Guns may be the tool of recent violence, but banning guns is not the answer, unless we can finds a way to keep guns from nuts and criminals. I think the real focus should be on Freedom of Speech. Hollywood and the media are those tainting society.

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

    "Freedom" to own something I can use to kill another human being and a fellow citizen with isn't freedom.It is a burden, and a curse.

    January 11, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. Charlie

    Is it really about guns? No, this is about assault weapons that were never imagined when the right to bear arms was considered. Follow the money trail and you will see why the NRA uses their flimsy excuses to whip up paranoid fear of someone taking away the right. Capitalism at it's finest. Don't let the NRA take away your right to think for yourself and determine how you could help solve the problem of mass shootings. If the boy had regular guns maybe only a few would have been killed which is still better than what we had

    January 11, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. Daverelentless

    Since returning from Nam and vowing to never use a gun again, I have been attacked twice. Beat the crap out of each attacker. No one needs a gun, I took it away from an attacker and pistol whipped him with it. Had to go to court but the Judge just laughed at him.

    January 11, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. ShawnDH

    Well getting shot in the face by a nutter with a gun at school, work, the movies, the mall, your place of worship, etc., is just FREEDOM to the NRA.

    But actually it's TERROR and our individual liberty and freedom are being stolen from us to appease radical gun nuts. It's time for common sense gun control, and the NRA and their wacko extremist supporters can go suck an egg.

    January 11, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. bill

    This is America, not Syria – More guns are not the answer. Gun control is not an outright ban on guns, just the ones which have no viable civilian or recreational use. If you don't like it and you're advocating for a more armed society, then move the hell out of America and go back to whatever communist worn torn country you came from!

    January 11, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  12. B Hill

    The NRA's "meaningful contribution" so far has been ZERO. They say they support background checks, but not at gun shows. Gee, according to reports, that's where 40% of guns are sold. They are convinced that the government is coming to take your guns away. Grow up people and stop listening to them. Their increasingly paranoid anti-government rants are pushing them closer to a charge of treason.

    Yes – treason. Do your homework, NRA members: Section 2385 of the U.S. Code "Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States ..." and that's exactly what this organization is leaning toward. If you go to their Face Book page – it's a disturbing read. Equally frightening is their website and legislative arm which is a hair's breadth away from advocating treason.

    Through a sad and paranoid twisting of the Second Amendment to suit any of their agendas, they've managed to brainwash a good deal – not all – of their members. They've also added to their ranks more scared and equally paranoid new members.

    They have fought alongside conservative members of the GOP to make Barack Obama a one term president. Sorry – it didn't happen. Now in defeat, they've doubled down with more anti-government BS, convincing people that "Obama is going to destroy the 2nd Amendment."

    When that amendment was written, our country was in it's infancy; just forming. The most advanced firearm was the musket. Our forefathers had no way of knowing what would transpire over the next 200+ years; that we'd have weapons with unimaginable force and such rapid firepower.

    Times have changed. It is very sad to see that one organization, through misinformation and paranoia, can literally hold our government hostage - when it is "We the People" – the majority of citizens, gun owners and non alike, favor limiting access to these weapons that are designed to shred humans in seconds!

    By taking these guns out of the public sphere – news flash here: it WILL NOT violate your 2nd Amendment rights!

    YOU CAN STILL PURCHASE OTHER WEAPONS, folks! This is not taking away your "right to bear arms."

    By the way, I, too, am a gun owner.

    January 11, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. bill

    If guns are the answer to protect our children in elementary schools, then we must be asking the wrong question!

    January 11, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  14. ShawnDH

    Jim whined: "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."

    Sure, getting shot in the head by a nutter with a gun is freedom. Got it.

    But hey...I'm glad you right-wingers support gay marriage and a woman's right to choose since you're sooooo into freedom, right? Or are you just a hypocrite who thinks the government should force women to give birth against their will and dictate who is allowed to marry whom? I know the answer to that, so you can stop babbling about freedom. Thanks.

    January 11, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. Cory

    I'm afraid Mr. Bohn is incorrect on the statement about gun shows. If you go to a gun show you cannot purchase a firearm from a dealer without going through the NICS check, to do so would violate the law and the dealer could have their FFL revoked and face criminal charges. The only time you would be able to purchase a firearm without a background check would be from a private seller and not a firearms dealer. It is no different than buying a firearm from your neighbor except that this person purchased a table at a gun show. This falls into the area of private transactions and is not a consumer-dealer issue.

    To say that, "buyers at gun shows do not have to undergo the same background checks as buyers at gun stores" is not accurate and can be extremely misleading to the public.

    Gun shows are not the problem. 99% of gun owners are not the problem. Guns themselves are not the problem. It is a small number of people here and there over time and distance that have stirred this fervor with their reprehensible acts, many of them having mental health issues which remained improperly taken care of. This then leads one to wonder why mental health is simply a subtext to the bold headline of "BAN ASSAULT RIFLES" the media seems to focus on? No one banned cantaloupes when many folks died of tainted fruit, they sought out the source of the problem and addressed it. More people were killed with hammers, clubs and other blunt objects between 2005 and 2011 than rifles. We aren't screaming for a ban on hammers and baseball bats. Why can't that logic be present in the solution efforts for this problem then? One word – politics, it destroys even the best of intentions. It's not about firearms, it's about power and control and in the middle the average citizen suffers.

    January 11, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. bill

    The conservative right wing confederate flag waving extremists have lost the civil war, WWII, parts of the Middle East as well as the last presidential election and they will lose this battle for gun control as well. The NRA and GOP are on the wrong side of history and there is no way they will succeed in breaking up these United States of America or turn us into some third world country.

    January 11, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  17. JW

    I'm all for gun rights, but do we really need assault rifles and 30 round clips and semi-automatics? I think those can be controlled better. However, I also know this isn't the entire solution as evidenced by the recent school incident where the person used a shotgun. Restrictions are not going to help that. We need better controls over who buys guns and better help for those parents with mentally ill children.

    January 11, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  18. ShawnDH

    Since you right-wingers are sooooo into "freedom" and stuff, obviously you support gay marriage and a woman's right to choose, right? Or are you just hypocrites who think the government should force women to give birth against their will and dictate who is allowed to marry whom? I know the answer to that, so you can stop babbling about freedom. Thanks. You don't give a squirt about freedom and we're done listening to your hyperbolic and hypocritical whining.

    January 11, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. Arthur Ferrell

    A challenge for anyone to read the FBI UCR and see the numbers of murders by weapon types in the USA.

    Im shocked at the government's inability to address the gun control issue and the outright snowjob being done. I consulted the FBI's UCR and found out that rifles only accounted for 356 deaths in 2011 while handguns accounted for 6220 deaths. More people were stabbed to death ( 1694 people), killed with bare hands ( 728 people) or bludgeoned with objects ( 496 people). I voted for this administration and now they are skirting the issue of mental health and violence in our society by pinning up smallest category of homicides and making it the largest issue. Assault weapons are eclipsed by handguns and knives , and it seems the public is being led by the nose in to believing that they are the epidemic when clearly changing laws on them will barely even touch on the problem. This is just sad and I am ashamed of this administration and news for not accurately reporting the crime statistics. The public is being mis informed and because of such nothing will really change. This is an injustice to those who have lost their lives to violence in our nation and shows an unwillingness to tackle real issues.

    January 11, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  20. Stan

    Memo to most gun owners... nobody is trying to take away your guns but let's talk about background checks, high-capacity clips, and mental health matters.

    January 11, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  21. Wake up People!

    @Daverelentless. First thank you for your service. Second, good for you for taking the criminals gun and pistol whipping him with it. I would have loved to be in the courtroom with you that day. They might have kicked me out for laughing so hard!!

    January 11, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. rs

    734 dead by guns in America since Dec. 14, 2012. That is what the NRA "freedom" means.

    January 11, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    @garettk would does the new gun law have to do with your glock, shotgun, and hunting rifles? Im also a gun owner. People like you exaggerate what is going on. Why do you need an assault rifle. Are you in an illegal drug ring? Are do you just plan to help deer go extinct? Waiting for the zombie apocalypse? There's no logical reason to have an assault rifle other than overseas wars..... Their only good for mass casualities which have been proved through recent tragedies. Handguns are more than enough to protect you your family and assets. You are just a trigger happy psycho

    January 11, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. CBP

    The NRA needs to work with other groups to find the best solutions to gun issues in this country. Instead of fighting every single idea they might just try to come together with others to find new ideas and new programs to solve the issues.

    The 2nd Amendment is not going to be repealed. No one is trying to take their guns away unless of course, the guns are being used against citizens of this country. The very angry statements do not help the situation. We are all in this together and until we work together our problems will not be solved.

    January 11, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    -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.
    Yet you will do nothing to prevent it in this instance. Simply bearing witness to what you consider to be evil is not enough. Do something in the spirit of your faith, other than enable others to commit more acts of violance. If you claim to be a Christian, do you think Jesus would pick up his Bushmaster .223 and shoot up the Temple? It has to end somehow: will you take the first step and show real courage?

    January 11, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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