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. u.S. Slave

    Americans are pathetic now.united we stand,divided we shall remain. Might as well live in socialist france where if im not allowed to exercise my rights at least i can bang women that look human vs american whales between gang beatings,hopefully before murdered. House is really f/s and seeing as how every state is like a diff country like co w/make my day law,vermont carry,etc i might go that route first but even those states are full of murderes zones so idk.down to those and mexico,aulstraila, etc...basically freedom used to set us apart but now thats gone and are prison rates,divorce,basicall all things bad rates are the worst here i see little point in staying if its gonna keep being communist

    January 11, 2013 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  2. Raul

    This is it, boys, the Revolution is at hand...

    January 11, 2013 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  3. john

    An Ad Campaign? That's funny all those ads for the GOP and Romney Ryan (remember them?) certainly helped their cause! I am delighted that The President is taking this issue head on and the NRA and it's membership's overblown influence is coming to and end. I had no Idea that there were only 5million members, More people than that show up to gay pride parades in this country.

    January 11, 2013 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  4. NameRoy pesta

    I don't own any guns, but i'll join and support the NRA. I believe our forefathers wanted us to be able to defend ourselves. Why don't you enforce the present laws? You want to curb the problems of our youths, price video games as much as guns. The more bloody, the higher the cost. Before 1962 this was never heard of. What has changed? Pledge at schools? Church? Keep digging at the roots of our independance and see what happens. Your brewing a civil war here, I for one and my boys will defend freedom always. 10yr vet

    January 11, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  5. Jed

    A note to journalists:

    From Wikipedia: the clip stores the rounds of ammunition before being inserted into the magazine,

    January 11, 2013 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  6. ljarmy84

    The gun show statement at the end was wrong CNN. All people buying from a gun dealer must do a federal background check just like at a gun store. It's private sales that are not regulated gun shows have nothing to do with it. You can go anywhere and do a private sale with the exception of a few states that require checks on private sales I think there are only a few like Cali, Colorado (at gun shows), Pennsylvania (handguns only), and just a few others

    January 11, 2013 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  7. JohnWV

    The 1791 authors of the Second Amendment (Right to Bear Arms) knew about muskets Had they envisioned the lethality of an errant individual with today's military assault rifle, there would surely never have been a Second Amendment. Had the authors of the First Amendment (Freedom of Speech, etc.) envisioned the disruptive political power of an errant individual with the internet, there surely would never have been a First Amendment.

    January 11, 2013 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  8. RandyF

    Please indentify The NRA as a gun manufactures lobby and marketing organization which is all that they have been for 135 years..

    January 11, 2013 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  9. TomNPitt

    Prevent the mass shootings at schools. Let all the kids carry, not just the teachers. Give the kids an even chance just like the teachers. It will also enhance the 2nd amendment. Prevent the take over of the schools by liberal teachers with guns. Arm the students!

    January 11, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  10. Gurgyl

    12 Billion dollars per year PROFIT industry WANs to kill our innocent people on earth for their GREED, PROFIT. Folks, I bet these idiots lobbied at the time of second Amendment drafting. This NATION NEEDS GUN-CONTROL LAWS OR GUN-BAN LAWS. I am telling the truth. Ladies, gentlemen–stand up and fight against this miscreant. God bless.

    January 11, 2013 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  11. plain&simple

    The NRA is "mobilizing for a fight". What planet do they live on? Sounds about right....next they will say "bring it on". This isn't a war game or a fight it's about finding common ground ! People who go around shooting people are looking for a " fight"....mad at the world! Poor choice of words and sad comment in general. The only point here is conflict resolution!

    January 11, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  12. Joe Wooten

    Let them bring the fight. It's time the NRA gets what it really needs...a swift kick in the backside.

    January 11, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  13. SB Atl

    Well these so-called 'dealers' must all go as private citizens. My husband goes to these shows and he said it's really amazing that anyone can walk up and buy any type of gun with no checks or verification at all.

    As for all of these people being 'law-abiding citizens who obtained their guns legally, so did the guy who killed all those people in the movie theater. Those weapons were acquired legally.

    January 11, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    We have a shorter lifespan in this country compared to other leading nations, in no small part due to gun violance. If our life expectancy is being cut short because of this blind adherance to a Taliban-like interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, then we need to change that. Do what is neccesary for the good of everyone. No talk of sacrifice on the part of the NRA, is there?

    January 11, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  15. Fort MacMatt

    I wish the american government would " send in the troops" to every household in the united states, and confiscate any high powered rifle, handgun, or other unnecessary firearm from the household, and instantly melt it down in a device right outside of the person's home. I don not believe in guns, other than hunting rifles, that are used for that sole purpose. Gun touting Americans are absolutely pathetic. I have no respect for people who think having an M16 or an AK47 as a hobby gun is a good idea.
    I hope huge reforms come soon in the US to the current gun laws, or lack thereof.

    January 11, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  16. Steve- Illinois

    For all of you clowns claiming the NRA is a puppet for gun manufacturers, you need to learn the facts. The liberal Huffington Post ran a front page article claiming the same thing, but, if you read the article carefully, it admits the NRA receives a very small percentage of it's funding from the gun industry. Keep your head in the sand libs, drink up the rhetoric, and ignore the facts whenever possible. It will make you safer!

    January 11, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  17. Marry

    The lack of ability to look at problems and find solutions is startling but not surprising (guns, healthcare, deficit, infrastructure, education, tax-reform, environment, economy, immigration, etc.)! It seems that it is always the same group that puts their heels into the ground and denies the people to work for the country to make it better. The TeaParty/GOP has shown that they just do not want to participate and are only in it for the big corporations "harvesting" the country. It is gruesome that they do not even let little kids stand in their way to bigger profits. Elections do matter and it is so important for 2014 to send through the voters GOOD representation to Washington! We need it in parts of Congress and Senate – badly!

    January 11, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  18. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    LaPierre and Keene aren't man enough to stand up to the Vice President. Even NRA members believe in gun reform. We just had another shooting in a high school this time. The violence never ends. The accessibilty to weapons is to easy. The country is going to hell in a handbasket.

    January 11, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  19. GI Joe

    The NRA is in business to make money from gun sales. Go ahead. Give them your money. Idiots.

    January 11, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  20. Rick 7809

    Let me get this straight, there are soon going to be 5 million NRA members. Last year 129 million people voted for president. Just exactly why are all the politicians scared of these people?

    January 11, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  21. Gurgyl

    @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.
    One way of controlling population growth. The more criminals that get killed, the more tax payer money that is saved.

    January 11, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  22. Sergeant Truth

    As a responsible classical-liberal Leviathan-reading gun owner I will have no truck with the NRA, but it's amusing to see the last of their dwindling membership run screaming from their extremist vigilante fantasy agenda.
    But how is this a news article? CNN is telling us that an organization which serves no purpose but to advertise guns is about to run a bunch of commercials for guns. What else is new?

    January 11, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  23. Sergeant Truth

    So a lobbying organization that exists to market firearms is going to run some commercials in an attempt to sell firearms? No news here.

    January 11, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  24. Charlotte

    This is about money and nothing more. NRA is a front organization for the gun and ammo manufacturers. Thus it's no surprise that they – tone deaf cowards as always – are trying to sieze upon these tragedies to sell more and more AND MORE guns and bigger and bigger and bigger clips. They don't give a rats about dead children (funny they are trying to turn this fact around and make that accusation against the Administration), they only care about money. They get their clout by convincing the impotent eunuchs in their ranks that guns are manly guns are power, guns will somehow save you from people who are trying to take your LIBERTY AND SECURITY (when in fact it has been proven over and over that they do the opposite). The only thing we CAN do is regulate because you can't fix stupid.

    January 11, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  25. ST

    Every country has a government for various reasons, so do we. The government has more power than any organisation like NRA. NRA should understand that they are under the government and if laws are made, they must abide to them. Fix the laws and let them break them and face consequences.

    January 11, 2013 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
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