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. Russ

    "We are mobilizing for a fight," NRA President David Keene told CNN. Not debate or conversation. Clueless.

    January 10, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  2. MaryM

    Stupid NRA, even the majority of their members want resonable gun laws. The NRA is nothing but a front group for the gun manufacturers. You have no chance NRA

    January 10, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  3. Jez

    The NRA is an insane group of pro-killing freaks. With all of the gun related deaths in the US, especially those murders done by assault rifles, these freaks have the gall to keep promoting their sick agenda. My god. When will sane Americans wake up??

    January 10, 2013 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  4. JoJo

    If we were all, conservatives and liberals, decent and ethical people, we'd all get together and do something reasonable about curbing the easy availability of these high-powered rapid-fire killing machines while still maintaining our essential 2nd Amendment rights. But no, because of the powerful influence of money on our government officials (plutocracy), instead of that, it will be a long drawn out, hateful fight, wasting money and energy as usual, with an uncertain result of either not doing enough (likely) or doing too much (less likely, but possible).

    January 10, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  5. Fred Malito

    The final comment in this otherwise informative article is absolutely untrue and merely proves to further the agenda of those who disapprove of our citizen's rights to have and use firearms for legal purposes. The truth is there never has been a "gun show loophole"; dealers selling guns at gun shows are licensed FFL holders and are required by law to perform background checks on all prospective buyers.

    The only "loophole" is the private seller; a lawful owner of a firearm my sell a firearm to another person who is legally allowed to own a firearm with no NICS check. Individual sellers may be present at gun shows, but they could be present anywhere in a community. Many do indeed ask that a buyer goes through a background check even though it is not required.

    I would urge anyone who does not believe the truth of my statement to investigate it for yourself at a gun show. Prepare to be surprised at how you have been lied too all along.

    Best wishes to all.

    January 10, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  6. Jay D

    Good to see the NRA is being sensible. No background checks at gun shows. We don't want to slow down the gun making machine now do we. People actually give money to them for this? Even though the majority of its member support background check. Who's running this thing anyway (gun manufacturers or its members)?

    January 10, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  7. Kenchandammit

    WHO decides we don't want assault rifles?? WE decide!! The NRA is only 4 million people. If 296 million people cannot stand up to 4 million people, then we all have some serious inferiority problems.

    January 10, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  8. plain&simple

    It makes no sense whatsoever not to have a background check wherever you buy a gun....how is that a threat to law abiding legal gun owners? 5million NRA members run this country and It's policies???? None of this "debate" makes a whole lot of sense since the NRA will not listen or exchange ideas only TELL you what they will accept. It's BS and we all know it.

    January 10, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  9. mike texoma

    The NRA may accumulate 5 million members. The vast majority of Americans are smarter than that. This time, the NRA will go down.

    January 10, 2013 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  10. Jayakumar

    I guess the NRA is feeling bad that the white house disappointed them. They were hoping that the white house will allow school teachers tobring in rocket launchers and bazookas and make short range missiles available to civilians.. Big disappointment indeed.

    January 10, 2013 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  11. Kristine Johnson

    I do not own a gun , I love all walks of people, but seriously? if someone entered my home as an intruder to harm my family with their weapon of choice, I might have to go for the cast iron skillet 🙂 I am now thinking I might should have a loaded gun, probably many in fact to protect myself, my family, my neighbors, and my friends. Any person who has made the decision to harm another person is going in the wrong direction, what happened to loving thy neighbor as thyself ?

    January 10, 2013 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  12. us_1776

    NRA = National "We Need To Sell More Guns" Association.

    NRA is the LOBBYIST for the arms industry.


    January 10, 2013 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  13. Name

    Your final comments are wholly incorrect. Firearms sales at gun shows are absolutely required to process a N.I.C.S check. This is misinformation is private sales that take place between a buyer and seller that are both patrons at a gun show are not subject to a N.I.C.S check as they are private sales. Any dealer selling a firearms at a gun show must be an F.F.L holder and must conduct a N.I.C.S check. Please correct and revise this inaccurate information. Thank you.

    January 10, 2013 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  14. Jay D

    Have any of you actually thought about who and how this mental background check would work? Who will pay for it?

    With endless variations of mental health stages how will you define what is and what is not acceptable. Does a midlife crisis or death of a love one or even loss of employment cause you to turn in your guns if you get treated for depression? Do you have to have a doctor clear you to get your guns back? Do you think doctors want that responsible or possible lawsuits added to there list of ever expanding duties? Will people not seek help when they need it for fear of losing their guns? Are you ok with health care ot taxes going up to support your unlimited right to buy and carry any weapon you want?

    Let's not forget about the people with mental challenges as a group. You think they want to be in some database singling them out. You think parents want there kids identified and labeled to the world. Something that might follow you around in life as you seek to live your life. What right do you have to judge this so call group of people. They just might have something to say about this as well.

    The NRA wants everything in their favor with gun owners not having to due a thing to help.

    January 10, 2013 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  15. Bystander

    The ads will not stop anything. Biden et al will want to prove that they are able to push something through. Maybe a court fight ?

    January 10, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  16. Ed

    inch by inch the 2nd amendment is going away. Soon all we can have are bayonets after filling out mountains of paperwork to legally have one. Liberals will say: "see, you can still have firearm – we still honor the right to bare arms!" When in actuality making restrictions after restrictions will essentially be a general gun ban.

    Some of the proposed ban provisions just don't make commen sense – high capacity magazines?? Why would that stop "mass shootings"? If 30 round magazines are banned, just carry more 10 round magazines! DUH!

    January 10, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  17. Bexcee

    And I find it weird that Holder was invited to sit in. After his contributions to Waco and Oklahoma deaths.

    January 10, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  18. Chooch0253

    Of course they are. The NRA loves controversy. It helps them give the impression that the big bad government or even better yet, that "Obama is going to ban guns". It helps boost sales of fire-arms. After all the NRA is little more than a talking puppet for the gun manufacturers. What ever it takes to sell more guns. That is the intent. Instill fear to boost sales. The weapons industry and ammo manufacturers love these Sandy Hook incidents. As soon as people start talking about weapons control, sales fly ever upward. What could be better for business than a few more massacres. Very little of the funding the NRA has comes from membership. Most of their funds comes from the manufacturers. The only people that do not know this are those with blinders on the buy into the story the NRA loves to tell and watch all the simpletind run out and spend more on weapons and ammo. Business is great right now. They love it.

    January 10, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  19. Bill C

    As a 73 year old combat veteran, life long hunter and gun owner I assure you the NRA has finally gone off the deep end, I quit many years ago and will never go back. When I can't get my elk in one shot, is when I will quit hunting as well. Normal people with a grudge and semi automatic or automatic weapon can get off 30 rounds in 27 seconds and kill or injure people pretty damn fast. Time to make purely military weapons and huge clips totally illegal. We don't allow people to buy 50 Caliber machine guns or Bazookas. Protect our police by banning armor piercing ammo as well. It may take many years to get rid of all the illegal weapons, but we have to stop kidding ourselves and get started now. All guns should be registered with stiff penalties for failure to do so. Australia did it we can too. All this hooey about protecting themselves from a tyrannical federal government is just a bunch of BS. Our national Guard has become the well armed militia the forefathers referred to, not some automatic weapons carrying citizen who isn't a member of the National Guard or a official U.S. militia of some type. Gun deaths in our country are astronomical compared other nations of the world. Let's get together and try to turn it around and beging to remove the flood of guns in this country. It will be a lot cheaper in the long run than putting Armed guards in schools. What about armed guards in theaters, malls, large businesses, sports events. I could take out a guard with a pistol in 10 seconds with my single shot bolt action rifle, and would go for the guard(s) first then take out my other targets. hundreds and thousands of guards make no sense at all. Will the NRA pay for them all? Guarantee they will not.

    January 10, 2013 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  20. LaPierre is not a remarkable man.

    I have a mute button and I threaten to use it on you NRA so you will not be penetrating into my home at some outlandish volume and discourse.... go shoot your mouth off somewhere the sun don't shine ...cause it does at my house... I say good day to you!

    January 10, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  21. BldrRepublican

    Restricting the rights of hundreds of millions of law abiding citizens based on the actions of less than a hundred people over 20 years is neither cost effective nor practical. It makes about as much sense as confiscating everybody's car because a minority drive drunk.

    January 10, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  22. No Man

    "Currently buyers at gun shows do not have to undergo the same background checks as buyers at gun stores."

    That's is a lie.

    Gun dealers at gun shows still have to conduct federal background checks.

    A private person selling to another private person does not have to do a back ground check, and gun shows highly discourage private transacations. However if a private person sells or gives a gun to a person who not legally allowed to buy a gun, then that person has broken some serious laws to the point that I will only sell via a FFL to protect myself.

    January 10, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  23. Brad

    Doesn't matter. we're the country that will need to learn the same lesson over, and over, and over again.

    January 10, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  24. Blake

    Terminology! There is no such thing as a high capacity magazine clip. A magazine is a magazine and a clip is a clip. The magazine loads generally from the bottom, a clip generally from the top. You invalidate your story within the first paragraph by demonstrating your lack of knowledge of the subject. Do your research!

    January 10, 2013 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  25. D Allan

    "Currently buyers at gun shows do not have to undergo the same background checks as buyers at gun stores". That is simply wrong.
    (1) If you buy from a federal firearms license holder, the same rules apply at a gun show as at a store: background checks
    (2) If you buy from a private party (anybody else), the same rules apply as they would anywhere else: no selling to a known prohibited person, otherwise state laws control.
    The "gunshow loophole" is a fantasy.

    January 10, 2013 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
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