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. JIM M

    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

    What are you on? Video games have been around for years and have been violent. Sorry, but there are plenty of regulations aroundvideo games including indicating whether they are age appropriate.

    January 11, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  2. JIM M

    What is wrong with more vigorous backgriound checks? What is worng with being able to track guns and register them, even in private sales?

    January 11, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  3. JIM M

    And I'll bet that there ads will tell everyone that the government is trying to take all their gus away.

    January 11, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  4. Gunny Joe

    I hunt alot and carried a weapon for many years. I just quit the NRA as they wanted a donation of a hundred dollars to fight the president.
    The NRA doesn't represent my opinion,so I joined the Sportmans Alliance in our state to preserve wildlife and hunting grounds.
    The president does not make me feel that he is gong to ban hunting, fishing or firing my M15 at the range or on my land in a safe manner.
    I'm sick of the NRA scare tactics to us. The NRA doesn't do anything for me. I don't get a discount at Cabela's or term life ins in my dues, a waste of money.

    January 11, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  5. Facts don't Lie

    well I can't wait to see the NRA ad saying why we should not have background checks before a firearm is purchased and why it should be okay for anyone including a person with a criminal history should be able to buy a gun.

    January 11, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  6. jim

    In other news, people who sell guns think you should buy guns.

    January 11, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  7. gaunt

    Hard to imagine there are still lunatic far-righters out there who insist there is not link whatsoever between guns and gun violence. Who insist gun control 'cant work' whern it HAS worked in pretty much every single one of our first world peer countries around the world.

    January 11, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  8. askdavey

    i think the gop better tell the nra to save your money,see the dems are juust going to use the nra's money up in adv. while they keep spending the fund on tv and radio, the dem's will be hitting the air waves in 2016 how the gop and nra are not reasonable, how they don't care about your kids and so on. so try this, the nra and gop should try and beat the vp's plan aand come up with a plan on thier own !!!!! wow, that wwould be change ! instaed of fighting at every turn the gop had a solution.......and because we don't pay these sen. or congresspeople to rep. the 4.2 million nra, only, why is this a big issue for the gop ??? 4.2 million members is a small part of the population....could it be they want the fringe groups to incite violance ? there is nothing more than the GOP wanting for some social unrest,they would lovve to see us att each others throuts, you can tell by their actions over the last 4 years!!

    January 11, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  9. Larry L


    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.
    In Texas a person can buy a table at a gun show to sell what they declare their "personal collection". No paperwork is required and cash is exchanged for those weapons. I've purchased them that way myself. Patrons are also allowed to walk around the gun show with guns to sell w/o an FFL form exchanged for a sale – a common practice.

    January 11, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  10. Gurgyl

    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them." –George Mason, Speech at the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788

    January 11, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  11. alien

    How many use their guns for protection? What the percentage on a daily basis. How many have shot their guns in self defense? Very few I bet. That's why we have police. When the second amendment was written we didn't have a police force. Do you really need that much firepower to hunt ducks and deer?

    January 11, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    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.
    Why should the NRA accept anything from the gun industry? However much a "very small percentage" might be, it doesn't change the fact that the NRA is funded, in part, by the gun industry. They taint themselves by accepting those funds.

    January 11, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  13. Disco

    Its a no brainer on assault weapons and high-capacity magazine clips. Do people really "need" these weapons to defend themselves?

    January 11, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  14. v_mag

    Over and over, the gun nuts point to anything they can to distract from the basic truth: There are too many powerful weapons floating around this country, and those weapons get into the hands of criminals, the depressed, small children, and crazy people who do massive damage with them. There is absolutely no denying that, without access to murder weapons, gun violence will drop dramatically. Doing nothing has exacerbated the problem. Throwing gasoline on the fire, as the NRA wants to do, will make things even worse. It's time for something different. Let's follow the example of a very non-wimpy country, Australia, and put all the semi-automatic weapons in the crusher.

    Man-up, gun nuts. You don't have to remain the cowards you are.

    January 11, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  15. The Real Tom Paine


    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them." –George Mason, Speech at the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788
    Mason was a staunch states-rights advocate who refused to sign the Constitution even after the Bill of Rights was agreed to, something he actually pushed for. To quote him is to endorse the people who caused the Civil War, and the deaths of over 600,000 Americans. Oh, and he never served in the militia himself, or the Continental Army, like most of the Anti-Federalists. Good at speeches and not much else.

    January 11, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  16. Yeah Right

    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them." –George Mason, Speech at the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788

    And it was a very different society in 1788. Love everyone jumping up and screaming before we even know the recommendations.

    January 11, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    NameRoy pesta wrote:

    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?
    The authors of the 2nd Amendment did want The People to defend themselves. Unfortunately, the original intent has been twisted by survivalists with bunker mentalities into preparing yourselves for an armed revolution against the government.

    In order to understand this, you must look at in the context of the time period. The US had no standing army, nor were there police departments or phone service. The framers wanted The People to defend their country and themselves. The framers wanted to escape from tyrannical governments that had armies comprised of mercenaries, and who prohibited citizens from participating and owning weapons. The framers wanted a national defense comprised of The People, which is exactly how the rebel armies of Revolutionary War fought, as coordinated groups of independent militias. The 2nd Amendment defines the implementation of national defense as prescribed in the Preamble itself.

    January 11, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  18. CarolinaGirl

    Head of the NRA is a scary dude! Wonder how he would feel if some one came in and riddled his family. Would that change his position? I have a gun and rifle. But some of these weapons need to be banned and we need background checks.

    January 11, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  19. Marcia

    Revolution???????? it is the NRA scaring people but the PEOPLE have had enough-Over 10,000 people a year die in gun violence-a star football player, a dad shooting a burgler who turns out to be his son, a 5 yr old shooting a 3 yr old with a found gun, a classful of 1st graders-HOW MANY????? before we get some sense HOW MANY HAVE TO DIE before we realize that the NRA is JUST a gun lobby for the gun manufacturers. Will the NRA be satisfied when only 1 American is left and all the rest have been killed with their gun??? Probably not-as they say from their cold dead hands-I recommend a park where you NRA people take on each other and shoot at each other-but the rest of us-let us live in peace with background checks for ALL

    January 11, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  20. Michael

    Relying on an armed populace to stop enslavement by the government when most do not know anything about: Habeas Corpus, history, who their elected officials are and who funds them and how they vote – is very short sighted. With trillions in assets – of every conceivable kind – using a single semi truck of advanced weaponry the government can selectively kill OR disable huge populations while rendering property untouched. Having a loaded gun in each hand will be absolutely futile. We are not in Kansas anymore.

    January 11, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  21. Debits-n-Credits

    What do you get when you put greed for profits ahead of the safety and concern for people?

    The NRA and the lobbyists, who bring gifts to legislators, in exchange for political favors, of course.

    January 11, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  22. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    Individuals can defend themselves with a single shot rifle or pistol. This in not about personal and property protection. Using military style weapon to kill men, women and children, should be WELL REGULATED. Using military style or purpose weapons to take away the right to liberty and prosperity needs a closer look.!

    January 11, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  23. rs

    NRA will have to work hard to defend all those crazy killer's rights.

    January 11, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  24. Steve, New York City

    The NRA is totally out of control. I do not understand why they are against background checks at gun shows. Do they want to make it easy for the criminally insane to exercise their 2nd amendment rights? I have no problem with responsible gun owners.

    However, In the NRA's America, 8 year olds would have concealed, 9 millimeter hand guns. Where does this stop? Why don't we just allow any idiot to own bazookas, surface-to-air missile launchers or nuclear suitcases? Seems like the NRA's adherents are too stupid to understand that, after a certain point, some weaponry should only be available for the military and law enforcement.

    January 11, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  25. Just a thought


    We are talking about background checks to make sure you folks aren't nuts! Wait...That's probably you people are whining about this.

    Listen, I am sure that every mass murderer is delusional / mentally unbalanced. Why shouldn't we do everything we can to avoid these people getting their hands on a gun?

    Are you guys so paranoid to believe that this President is trying to take your guns away so that he can create a dictatorship? Get off the Faux news stupidity......President Obama has EXPANDED gun rights to allow you paranoid people to carry guns at a public park. How is that taking away your guns?

    Are you foolish enough to think that your gun is a deterent to a government intent on enslaving you? Do you not know the type of weaponry our government has? The government has a well organized, well equipped military that would eviscerate anything if unleashed.

    Stop the paranoia. Keep a weapon to protect your home. and by all means LOCK IT UP.....That's your right. But forget the heavy artillery....YOU DON'T NEED IT

    January 11, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
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