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. Joe

    When is the media going to get the so called "gun-show loophole" right?

    Gun shows have nothing to do with this. If a licensed federal fire arms dealer is selling a gun a background check HAS to be done it doesn't matter if the transaction takes place in a store front, at a gun show, or in their backyard – a background check has to be done.

    In some states (not all states), private sellers, private citizens, who own a handgun (in some states checks are required for long guns too), and are not in the business of selling guns for profit, who want to sell a handgun to a resident of that same state do not have to have a background check run on the purchaser prior to legally transferring ownership of the gun. The location of the transaction is irrelevant.

    January 10, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  2. Jason B

    I have yet to hear the NRA explain why I, "Joe Citizen", need the ability to own the civilian version of a military assault rifle. Also NRA, why do I need the ability to pop off 20, 30, 50+ rounds before reloading? Please explain to me, dear NRA, why I shouldn't have to go through a background check at a gun show. And please NRA, please explain how the solution to gun violence is more guns, more guns, and then yet more guns.

    January 10, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  3. jinx88

    NRA loves this, more guns being sold means more memberships and more money in the pockets for the CEO. Paranoid righty's think the government may at some point turn on the people, the question is, if the government and military decided to turn on its people the people will need bigger guns. Last time I checked the government has planes, tanks, drones and seal team six. The people have guns good luck with that. LMAO!!

    January 10, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  4. Rob

    We must protect each and every amendment not just the 2nd. If we weaken one what is next the 1st? Gun control is a feel good thing a bad guy will not pay any head to if he wants to kill. Do you think he would stop and say "this is against the law I best not do it" If you want to see a model of gun control look to Great Briton. True gun violence is down but knife crime is up to the point GB has instituted knife control. Man will find a way to kill if he wants to kill. The day after the CT shooting 20 children where stabbed in China if crazy wants to kill crazy will kill. Let’s look at Mexico in the last 7 years 50000 dead the majority unarmed citizens.

    January 10, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  5. Jason Paskowitz

    The NRA can bluster all it wants. They know Sandy Hook was their Waterloo, yet instead of trying to appear rational, they let Wayne LaPierre unload his ridiculous, hysterical rant in public. Essentially, they've taken themselves out of the national debate on sensible gun control.

    January 10, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  6. Dan

    The leaders of the NRA and the gun fetishists need to stop bashing the Constitution via perverting the meaning of the second amendment.This is literally killing America and its citizens.

    January 10, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  7. Chris

    Why does CNN continue to misrepresent the facts of gun show background checks? Buying a firearm from any dealer, whether at a gun show, a store, or anywhere else requires a background check. The so called "gun show loop hole" is a myth fabricated by agenda driven parties looking to outlaw private sales.

    January 10, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  8. LIP

    Okay, my numbers were off so I'll just drop this bit of info for the year 2009. It only gets worse as we go along, but these numbers are accurate.
    33,808 preople killed by motor vehicles
    217,000 people incapacited by motor vehicle accidents
    2,000,000 plus were injured by motor vehicle accidents
    We aren't going to ban cars , but we are seriously talking about restricing weapons? Large clips, armor piercing bullets, semi automatic and automatic weapons or assault weapons if we can clearly define them is fine to ban, but registration is an invasion of everyone's privacy and right to bare arms and can't be allowed.

    January 10, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  9. Real American

    Mr Bohn,
    It would REALLY be nice if you did some true research into firearms law before publishing an article so you don't print lies. In your last paragraph, you say currently buyers at gun shows do not have to undergo background checks. This is a LIE. Buyers at a gun show who purchase from an FFL dealer undergo a background check whether they are at a gun show or at the FFL business. Buyers at a gun show who purchase from a private citizen who is not an FFL do not undergo a background check, just like they wouldn't if they walked down the street to one of their neighbors and purchased a firearm from them (assuming the state they are in allows for this, some states require all purchases to go through an FFL and therefore all purchases undergo a background check). I, and many other law abiding citizens, don't agree with changing the way things are. If my dad wants to sell me a firearm, there is no reason for me to undergo a background check. Please get the facts straight before you print your article.

    January 10, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  10. Jayakumar

    These NRA people are pretty delusional and dangerous. I wish they could be sued for all the deaths that is taking place because of their support for guns.

    January 10, 2013 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  11. NRAVA

    "Currently buyers at gun shows do not have to undergo the same background checks as buyers at gun stores." This is a lie it makes it seem that a gun show is a magical place where people can go and purchase anything they want with no back ground checks!!! I have been to gun shows and purchase guns this is a lie, 99% of all purchases at a gun show are no different than at any gun stores. Any dealer at a gun show with and FFL (Ferderal Firearms Lic) issused by the ATF have to follow the same rules as any other FFL at a gun show. The other 1% do not need back ground checks because they are average citizens selling guns they dont want anymore just like they would sell a used guitar or tv. People do it ever day put ads in the paper tell there friends they have a gun there grandad left them that they dont want and sell them. Go to a gun show do some actually research before you write dribble!!!!

    January 10, 2013 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  12. lewtwo

    I hope they are more interesting than the majority of TV commercials.
    GEICO seems to be the only group that has a good add staff.

    January 10, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  13. Larry L

    I grew up as a member of the N.R.A. and when represented the good things about the art of making quality firearms, safety, proficiency as a marksman, and the responsibility of gun ownership. They drifted very, very far away from those ideals when they became a voice of the radical right-wing and the arms industry. as hateful extremists they deserve no seat at the table.

    January 10, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  14. Mark Conte

    Every issue has a breaking point and I think this has reached that point. Sometimes you have to fight violence with violence and violence is the only thing that gun lovers understand holding on to their killing machines. .On to the new phase

    January 10, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  15. Can't_Wait

    90% of pro-gun advocates are going to sound stupid when they call their congressmen. I can hear it now. "Guns don't kill people." "If someone really wants to kill hundreds of people, they don't need an assault weapon to do it." "The Bushmaster is not an assault weapon." "The 2nd Amendment guarantees my right to have any and all arms that I need to defend myself against my government."

    They're not going to help their cause. They're going to sound like paranoid hicks. About 10% will probably sound intelligent. In a nut shell, this won't change any politician's mind.

    Also, keep in mind that probably 75% who will fight tooth and nail to defend assault weapons, probably don't even own one, nor do they plan to own one in their lifetime.

    The most intelligent argument FOR it that I've heard was an old clip of some lady talking about the Brady Bill back in the Clinton era. Her only case FOR owning an assault weapon was referring to the LA riots, where a man stood on his housetop defending his property from a mob. Now, the 2nd Amendment was written for citizen mob attacks. However, had that mob been the US government, that assault rifle wouldn't have done much.

    January 10, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  16. K. A. Whitman

    Let the war begin.

    January 10, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  17. Mark

    What, exactly, is a "magazine clip"???

    CNN, if you're going to report on something, at least have a rudimentary understanding of what it is you're talking about.

    January 10, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  18. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The NRA fails to understand what is really needed. They don't understand that everyone doesn't need an assault rifle with armor piercing ammo. Who goes hunting with these kind of weapons? I'd like to really know who does.

    January 10, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  19. fay ruujin

    the NRA is not helping anyone. on one side gun related deaths will go up if they have their way and on the other gun & ammo prices have gone up and will stay there pricing out younger people and actually hurting the hobby. so no matter what side your on, it's time to tell the NRA either shut up or provide solutions other than arming everyone that keeps the 2nd, reduces gun deaths and lowers costs.

    January 10, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  20. hey

    I support the NRA

    January 10, 2013 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  21. dog4dog

    the second amendment was made when the word professional never came before army, also when indians prowled the west and british aggression came from canada, the common argument for assault weapons is "what about a government overthrow", honestly i believe the citizens should have safeguards in place to dissolve the government should it become a threat or tyrannical but assault weapons in our homes is hardly the correct road to take, we should form a citizens defense, give everyone a gun, put every gun outside of a shotgun or bolt action hunting rifle inside a national guard base, train everyone how to use them and allow them to come in and shoot the gun whenever the range is open, who honestly believes that a government overthrow is even possible, who is gonna follow them, just think we are one of the very few nations in the world who can honestly say we are safe without guns in our homes, do the people of sudan need them in their homes, what about the iraqis or the early americans during the late 18th and 19th century, but 21st century america does not need guns, saving peoples lives by far outweighs the benefits to handgun or assault weapon ownership, and don't tell me people would just use other tools, take away the golden key and far fewer doors will get opened, get rid of weapons and you get rid of gun crime, now i will also say this, we make you wait until you are 21 to have a drink but we give you a gun at 18, i would say that men below 30 should be barred from gun ownership, let people find their path in life before we give them the tools to end them, now 30 would be the proper age to target but nobody would be on board with it, maybe 25, 26 would be acceptable, honestly young men are by far the problem, perhaps the solution is to make people wait until they are adults before giving them access to m16's and ak47s

    January 10, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  22. Nick

    the last line of this article "Currently buyers at gun shows do not have to undergo the same background checks as buyers at gun stores" is completely false. The laws are exactly the same at gun shows as they are anywhere else. If you buy a gun from a dealer, no matter where you are, a background check is completed. It is also perfectly legal (in most states) for one person who owns a gun to sell it to another person who can legally own a gun.
    Knowingly selling a gun to a person who can't own guns and selling large amounts of guns (or buying with the intent to re-sell) are both illegal.
    When politicians and anti-gun groups talk about getting rid of the "gunshow loophole," what they're talking about is banning private sales of guns. It would be nice if they were at least honest about their intentions and if the media could get its facts straight.

    January 10, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  23. Michael

    Sounds like threats by a domestic terrorist organization

    January 10, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  24. serna

    For once it the media put the people's interest ahead of its own, and was genuinely sympathetic to the victims of present and future gun violence, it should not air these ads.

    January 10, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  25. ted

    The NRA needs to be neutralized by the GOP leadership right along with the TeaPottiers and Faux News. I am tired of the NRA and its ignorant tantrums about the second amendment. NO ONE NEEDS a semi or full automatic weapon. NO ONE NEEDS an Ak 47 or Bushmaster or any of the rest of those weapons. The NRA needs to sit down and shut up. We are in a fight for what is right for the American people and the hell with the NRA.

    January 10, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
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