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. Robert2U

    If you want to keep guns away from criminals then stop making it easier to get them.
    1. Every person who buys a gun should be subject to a background check, no matter where they buy them.
    2. No-one can buy or fire a gun without going through a gun safety training program.
    3. When carrying a gun a person must also carry proof of completing a gun safety program. Just like hunters must carry a hunting license.
    4. All adults should be held responsible for the safe storage of firearms and ammunition. This means making them reasonably inaccessible such as a gun safe or lockable metal cabinet.
    5. Set up businesses where gun owners can rent climate controlled lockers to store their guns. We have such places for valuables and wine, why not guns?
    6. No minor should be allowed to be in possession of a loaded gun without the presence of an adult. We don’t let them have alcohol why a gun?
    7. No minor can buy or own a gun, period.

    January 10, 2013 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  2. It's simple, really

    Hey, remember when the NRA used to be an honorable organization? Neither do I.

    January 10, 2013 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  3. Frank

    Onlooking from Canada, it is unimaginable to see a gun business dictating its way in the USA. They are not elected to represent the people. Have them have a lie detector test to see if their main motive is associated with money. I'll bet they'd decline the offer.

    January 10, 2013 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  4. bro

    the nra can spend all the money they want on adds, but having guns in our society does not work, if people can live with more tragedy's to keep ownership then except that as a way of life..

    January 10, 2013 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  5. Shame..

    For every child murdered with a gun, there is blood on your hands, NRA.

    January 10, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  6. Thomas Desmond

    They only have 4 or 5 million members. They are not even relevant. Why pay any attention to these little pip-squeaks.

    January 10, 2013 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  7. Julio

    the meeting lasted an hour and a half! that's it.

    January 11, 2013 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  8. John Oboho

    Let every American be armed,or, let every college student be armed,let every kindergarten first grader be armed;let scores be settled quickly & over,let every nut case have unhindered access to assault weapons at gun shows.YES!LET THE BLOOD FLOW,LET LIVES WASTE, WHILE NRA SMILE TO THE BANK WITH BILLIONS.

    January 11, 2013 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  9. DRE

    As a moderate and a democrat here are a few things that are often ignored with regard to increasing gun laws.

    1. For those criminals they really don't care what or how many gun laws are in place, if they need a gun for a crime they're going to obtain one. It's a simple fact, and they are concerned about background checks, etc.

    2. The issue that few are talking about in these recent mass shootings is that the shooter was not in their right mind. The problem is that by simply looking at someone it's a little hard to determine if they're sane or insane.

    Think about it...

    January 11, 2013 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  10. James clay

    5 million out of 350 million the NRA are a drop in the bucket

    January 11, 2013 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  11. Noreen

    better prepare for big problems when obama decides he is president for life and he as the antichrist implements the new world order! He is filled by satan and is a muslim! Once a muslim, always a muslim or they kill anyone who tries to leave their false religion. I dare you puppets at cnn no news org.

    January 11, 2013 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  12. Dave

    We need to quit calling events where the intent is to sell guns, "Gun Shows" and call them what they are, "Gun Sales." If bricks and mortar gun dealers have to run buyers through background checks, so should the folks who sell at gun shows. Maybe guns should be held to the same paperwork as cars...a tiltle of ownership of the gun must be transferred to the new buyer anytime it is sold. Failure to transfer ownership of a gun would result in a fine.

    January 11, 2013 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  13. Dan C

    Don't be fooled folks: The NRA will always revert to the "more guns is the solution to any problem" argument, and attempt to incite fear that the current administration wants to take the 2nd amendment away. Nothing could be further from the truth, regardless of what Faux news, the NRA and the 2nd amendment foundation wants you to believe. The 2nd amendment is not going away anytime soon or ever, but at the same time this argument has to be around rational limit setting: If you can own an automatic with a high capacity clip, how about armor piercing rounds, an RPG and a tactical Nuke? Where does it stop? Technology is always advancing. The type of killing power we can buy over the counter today is much greater than what could be bought 30 years ago. Is it not rational to expect a higher degree of regulation for weaponry than the ability for your grandma to buy Sudafed? Get real folks!!!

    January 11, 2013 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  14. Fred

    I used to vote republican. I am a hand gun owner but no civilian needs automatic weapons . The NRA has plenty of money and the Republican party is their puppet. Too bad!

    January 11, 2013 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  15. Ed

    How much of a hint does Obama and his politicians need. Take a look: 100,000 increase in NRA memnership in weeks, surging gun sales of all types, surging rifle magazine sales of all types, surging ammunition sales of all types. And he has the audacity to threaten EXECUTIVE ORDERS over the American people? We Americans do not want additional restrictions, there are enough laws on the books now. The school killer broke 5 laws before opening the school doors – murder, theft, possession of an handgun under age 21, grand theft auto, bringing firearms onto school property (not inside yet). The real White House agenda is to remove guns from society, and that will not happen, we will not let it happen. Wake up liberals.

    January 11, 2013 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  16. Smeagel4T

    That's right everybody... make sure you get out there and protect the profits of the gun industry. That's the primary job of the NRA. Promoting the profits of the gun industry. The NRA receives more money from the gun industry than they receive dues from members.

    The NRA has yet to provide an argument for why people need to own military style weapons and high capacity clips. Even if there were guards at every public location, people would STILL be safer if there were no military style weapons with high capacity clips readily available. Police are safer if there are no military style weapons and high capacity clips readily available. The ONLY reason the NRA bothers to advocate for such weapons is because they increase the profits of gun manufacturers.

    January 11, 2013 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  17. Kartoosh

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

    Why? Because mentally ill people don't go to gun shows? A gun is a gun no matter WHERE you buy it. As usual, pointless and useless laws from both sides.

    January 11, 2013 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  18. nra_fan

    Sorry...the nations will is to move away from guns...please spare us the misery of having to watch gun ads. Thank you.

    January 11, 2013 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  19. ART

    "Currently buyers at gun shows do not have to undergo the same background checks as buyers at gun stores."
    Untrue at least in WA State. You have to have an annual membership to buy a gun at a show. You can attend a gun show by purchasing a ticket but you can't purchase a firearm unless you are a member. When you become a member, you are required to have a background check. An additional background check is required at the point of purchase. I would say that the WAC gunshows are among the safest in the country. No loopholes here.

    January 11, 2013 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  20. snowdogg

    NRA = Not Really Accountable

    January 11, 2013 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  21. Rick Osborn

    Who cares what the NRA says or does. The are irrelevant. They just haven't figured it out yet. Their ads will have about as much effect as their ads and political contributions did in the 2012 elections. Almost nada. Think about it. How many organizations in the USA today have more the 4 million members? Don't think the USA will let 4 million people, most of who don't agree with their leaders on reasonable gun controls, dictate this debate. The NRA is all companies that make and sell guns, not gun owners.

    January 11, 2013 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  22. Thomas

    5 hours ago
    National Rifle Association gearing up for a fight !

    We need gun shows at elementary schools , safety is using two hands !

    Maybe we need to paint fierarms pretty colors ?

    January 11, 2013 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  23. NRA Life Member

    There is not a good argument for not doing background checks at gun shows.

    Passing other legislation is probably not warranted since existing laws are not enforced.

    January 11, 2013 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  24. Sue Pearlative

    Why should background checks not be required for buying a gun at a gun show, just as it is when buying one from a gun shop?

    January 11, 2013 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  25. name

    Thousands of US Solders and Vets have fought, bled and died protecting the freedom of Americans and the US Constitution. Can anyone stand at Arlington National Cemetery and tell the white tomstones it was a joke but thanks for your service. I can't. Should we water down the 2nd Amendment, what about the 1st Amendment, etc...We protect our gold with armed guards, shouldn't our kids be protected as well?

    January 11, 2013 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
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