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. Lars

    Blaming the NRA for all of societies ills is not going to do anything but push people farther apart. If the rest of the country is as divisive as these posters there will be no compromise.

    January 11, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. DanS

    There is a very good commentary on how to fight the NRA. Basically, since the vast majority of Americans believe common sense gun control should be the law, they need to organize, fund and fight the NRA and its strong arm tactics. Just run a few counter commercials showing the nut jobs and looney tunes running the NRA, like the whack job that went on Piers Morgan. Exactly the type of person you don't want to have a semi automatic!

    January 11, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "On January 22, 2013, I will cry in solidarity with over 40 million innocents killed legally in this country since Janyary 22, 1973."


    January 11, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. Whats all the fuss

    This is not about taking the 2nd amendment away, let alone gun rights! I am no fan of guns, but at the same time respect the 2nd amendment for what it was created.

    The NRA and all concerned gun owners should not panic & percieve this as an attempt to ban guns and take away their rights to bear arms.

    Society is vastly different from what it was centuries ago, and coupled new technology including sophisticated fire arms, it is only right to have a look at existing gun laws. I see no harm in stricter gun registration laws in much the same way we register our cars. Unless you have something you are hiding from the law, I don't see any reason why registering a legal fire arm would mean taking away your right to own it!

    Understandably, there are gun enthusiasts that collect guns including military grade weapons that have taken center stage in recent mass killings. Surely, restricting ownership of these types of weapons that cause mass devastation in a few seconds is reasonable. By restricting, I mean there have to be tougher requirements for owning or transfering such weapons.

    Advocating for armed gurds at elementary, middle, high schools, colleges, hospitals, churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, resaturants, movie theaters, salons, night clubs...the list can go on...wouldn't this synonymous with the wild west of centerues gone by?

    America, let's be smart and prudent!

    January 11, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. Will

    It is asking too much to get the country on common ground with this, so we should make it a state issue. I live in North Carolina and we have large gun ownership rates (I don't think I know someone who doesn't own at least one, but many rarely use them) and very few shootings except in two cities, fayetteville and durham. I can see why those in Chicago and New York would like to get rid of them, the atmosphere is completely different. I am no NRA member and not really a fan ( they seem a little lacking in class) however only a fool would think that limiting the size of a magazine would do more to prevent school shootings than an armed guard in the school. It does seem correct that there is little critical thinking here, just partisan clowns reiterating the same lines.

    January 11, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. columbus

    There are about 220 milion adults over the age of 18 in the US, 4.2 million are NRA members, that represents about 2% of our population. That tells me 98% of us don't have a lobbying group fighting for us in Washington.

    January 11, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. bozo

    The article is incorrect when it states "Currently buyers at gun shows do not have to undergo the same background checks as buyers at gun stores" gun sales at shows from dealers require background checks, if you buy from a private individual at the show you do not need a background check but most require a concealed weapons permit or valid drivers license.
    Weapons are not the cause of deaths no more so than cigarettes are, it is the people who choose to act in a reckless manner.

    January 11, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. patrick

    There is too much money given by the NRA and the folks who make these guns to ever have gun control. Want gun control change the laws. If you are caught with a illegal firearm 25 years in jail. Caught a second time life in the big house. and 25 years means 25 years

    January 11, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. James Ruston

    So the NRA is preparing for a fight? Stockpiling weapons, I assume.

    January 11, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. PJ

    The NRA has one concern.....MONEY. We need to put them in their place. Too many children are dying and there is no excuse for those assault weapons or the freedoms of purchasing at Gun Shows.

    January 11, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  11. California Gary

    The NRA has conducted itself like a bully in the past and got away with it. But when nobody is afraid of the bully anymore, the bully's career ends. That's where we find ourselves today.......nobody is afraid of the NRA anymore. They are now a toothless former bully just making noise.

    January 11, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. D Rufus Onfyre

    Something needs to be done to curtail the culture of violence entrenched in American society. Video games don't kill people, easy access to guns does.

    January 11, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC


    On average, about 300 people are struck by lightning each year in the United States.
    On average, about 300 people are killed with a rifle each year in the United States.
    The Clinton AWB had no measurable effect on crime for the decade it was in effect.
    But what about during tha past decade, since the Clinton AWB was allowed to expire, assault weapon violence has been on the rise?

    January 11, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. v_mag

    I feel like a change is really coming this time, but we all know it will be short of the mark. Here's how I think it will go:

    1. Democrats compromise to the point that the new law looks like Swiss cheese. Loopholes for everything, just like last time they banned "ass-salt" rifles.
    2. The NRA and gun manufacturers and dealers howl loudly about the loss of freedom, meanwhile thanking the gun gods that it was business as usual.
    3. With a half ass-salt ban in place, lunatics manage to get all the murder weapons and ammo they need. Criminals get all they need. Children find all they need unlocked in dresser drawers. Lots of people die unnecessarily.
    4. The NRA starts clambering for lifting the ban, whipping their base into a frenzy.

    January 11, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Is there a correlation between those who favor the death penalty and those in favor of gun rights? They both just seem so eager to penalize people by killing them.

    January 11, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Sam

    I see people are talking about strict background checks on all gun purchases and this will make sure only the law abiding citizens can possess guns. This is not true. No one is born as criminal. People turned out to be criminals after a while, same as mental health people.

    January 11, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. Vickie Holbrook

    The only thing that will stop a "bad guy" with a gun is a "good guy" with a gun...AND when seconds counts, cops are minutes away. We all have a right to protect ourselves. Signs at schools DO NOT stop a nut from taking a gun and killing our children...Lets' get real, folks.

    January 11, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. j

    Not having background checks at gun shows is irresponsible.

    January 11, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. tim

    AN HOUR AND A HALF ! So much for MEANINGFUL conversation from THE WHITE HOUSE ! I can hear biden relaying Obama's message.... MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY MR. & MRS. AMERICA ! Hour and a half how disgusting !

    January 11, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. Rick in AZ

    After watching the performances of Wayne LaPierre and Alex Jones I went and bought stock in Alcoa. These tin foil hat wearing fools will make me rich.

    January 11, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  21. DENNA

    Expect the NRA to claim zero responsibility, cite the 2nd amendment and in general pretend that guns are not a big problem in America. Sigh. Understand this America: The killing is never going to stop. This is how it will end. The last human alive will probably cling to that gun just before he/she blows their own brains out from the solitude.

    January 11, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    "On January 22, 2013, I will cry in solidarity with over 40 million innocents killed legally in this country since Janyary 22, 1973."

    Had they been born, they would have kicked them to the curb just like anyone else the Right does not feel worthy, so why the fake waterworks? The lack of sincerity is nauseating. However, tax cuts for the wealthy? That's something to get impassioned about! The Righteous get their reward before Heaven!

    January 11, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |

    We have way too many guns in this country - if only gun owners would invest in fixing their teeth, take an interest in reading books, and understanding the civilized world ...then and only then will we move forward as a species.

    January 11, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  24. Thomas

    @America is Banker Conqured
    Chem trails, fluoride in our water, cancer causing vaccines, banning our guns, mind control, financial enslavement, give up your guns, Bush and Obama are puppets and if you are defenseless you will be conquered by the government that has been taken over by banks, corporations, and evil communist thinkers.

    I have to comment on your statement .
    Banks, corporations, and evil communist thinkers ? Are they working together for the same conspiracy ?
    Also Chem trails, fluoride in our water, cancer causing vaccines ? What about deodorant soap ?
    What planet are you on ? You don't need a gun , you need a help !

    January 11, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Tom Paine ... "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?"

    Well, Tom Paine I'm not so sure about Jesus picking up his Bushmaster .223 for a Temple shoot out. I'm still trying to locate the Bible passages where Jesus explains to Conservative Christians that we are to pray for the unborn while condemning the already born to poverty, abuse, and other unspeakable trauma. One assumes Fair is Fair is quite content to turn a blind eye in her efforts of not seeing what she doesn't want to see in a way that best suits her ideological mind set. For as much as she is already on record as stating she herself has a gun for personal protection, I wouldn't hold out too much hope in her "solidarity of tears" gun ownership angle.

    January 11, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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