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. LaPierre is not a remarkable man.

    In order for the "whole town to feel safe" Tombstone Arizona Sheriff Wyatt Earp made you check your guns at the office, nothing more than that needs to be said.

    January 11, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  2. rs

    The NRA has maybe 4 million members, slightly more than 1% of the total American population.

    They are a radical, small minority.

    The NRA ceased being a gun safety and hunting /outdoors organization when they adopted the Black Panther's methodology and began advocating so-called "guns rights" – the scare and personal safety nonsense.

    The NRA is now the largest lobbyist for manufacturers of deadly weapons. Ergo, they support the sale and access to more guns. More guns, more gun violence=more fear. More fear=more gun sales.

    Face it people, these delinquents DO NOT have your best interests at heart, nor do they have the greater publics' best interests at heart. They are just about profit for Remington, Glock, etc.

    Oh, they're also about DEATH.

    January 11, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. Canuck

    "Thousands of US Solders and Vets have fought, bled and died protecting the freedom of Americans and the US Constitution."

    BS. America fights it's wars to further it's influence and economic power.

    January 11, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. Alex

    They want to fight the will of WE THE PEOPLE!?! Go ahead NRA, bring it on. We Americans have a 2nd Amendment right to REGULATE YOUR FIREARMS!!!!

    January 11, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. Sniffit

    The gun nuts are gearing up for a fight too. Literally. Just look up "Tactical Response" and "Yeager" and you'll be treated to the first gun nut video threatening to kill people if any new regulation is enacted. We're flushing out all you pseudo-militia weekend daycamp wannabe-warriors. Go ahead, use your guns to defend your guns. WE DARE YOU.

    January 11, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  6. Pat in IL

    I still don't understand the strident defense of assault, military style, weapons. That's bizarre and I haven't heard any valid reasoning for a private citizen owning such a thing.

    January 11, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  7. maine liberal

    The NRA fear four years ago was that Obama would take all the guns. In four years not one gun that people owned has been taken away. Obama has authoriozed gun carry on amtrak and in national parks.

    Nra agrees some people should not have guns (criminal, mentallly ill, video game players) but short of turning us into a police state that George Orwell could not have envisoned they offer no acceptable solutions.

    The gun laws have worked ( newtown shooter was denied a gun purchase couple days before, he stole registered guns from his mother a known gun owner)

    full disclosure : I am a member of the ACLU and NRA

    January 11, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  8. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    One traditional concept I like about our criminal justice system is that it always implies that "no one should take the law into his or her own hands." That sounds reasonable to me in a civilized society where the law enforcement and juidicial system work to guarantee the protection, safety, well being and fairness of justice of its citizens. But in a society like ours where every and any body can go online like the Aurora shooter and purchase 4,000 rounds of ammo and several assault weapons to inflict harm on innocent people, when and where do we draw the line and say enough is enough? And what would happen to our society if millions of angry and fedup Americans were to break that legal doctrine and start "taking the law into their own hands by arming themselves and going on a wild west shooting spree? Then what? Thaen what? A civil war perhaps? Is that what our elected officials and the NRA really want???

    January 11, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  9. v_mag

    I hear the gun nuts talking about "common sense" solutions, but all they put forward are "common stupidity" solutions. Throw some more gasoline on that fire, says the NRA. Arm everybody. Why not do something with real sense to it, like get the g'damned guns into the furnace and melt them down? Australia did it, and it worked. Every "common sense" country on the planet has done it.

    January 11, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  10. Paul

    Who are these clowns anyway? Just because they have a ton of money and 1% of the population as members, they think they can just dictate to our society? Hey, I'm in favor of the second amendment but I'm also in favor of strengthening laws to help stop this problem, and clearly there are way too many guns in the US available to way too many of the wrong people. And the types of guns available like automatic weapons really need to have tight restrictions. If you want to use an AK-47 for fun, you should have to hold a license to do that. Nobody that hunts responsibly uses these types of weapons. And I'm an independent middle of the road person with independent middle of the road opinions (I think at least). Are new laws going to stop lunatics? No. But that's not a good reason to NOT have new laws.

    January 11, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  11. JennyTX

    Guns for hunting and self-defense, OK. Guns for mass killing sprees, not OK.

    January 11, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  12. Anonymous

    School shootings in California and Connecticut, the two most stringent gun law states, gun gun bans work.

    January 11, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  13. Sniffit

    Yes, and clearly, they really are doing a bang up job of it...

    "Larry Ward, chairman of the national Gun Appreciation Day gun rights advocates have planned for the weekend of President Obama's second inauguration, told CNN Friday that there never would have been slaves in America if black people had guns.

    "I think Martin Luther King, Jr. would agree with me if he were alive today that if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country's founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history," Ward said." (thanks TPM)

    That's right...the newest argument from Gunnutville is "if black people had been given guns, there wouldn't have been any slavery." And the reporter he said it to was a black woman.


    January 11, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  14. rs

    The NRA cannot see the difference between wants and needs. The vast majority of Americans support the Second Amendment. The vast majority of Americans also want to be safe, and also understand more guns does not lead to more safety (see relative gun deaths in the UK and Australia where successful gun control has been enacted).The NRA can bluster all they want. They are clearly on the wrong side of this issue, and unless they join the call for sensible gun limitations, they will get hammered with laws far more restrictive than if they actually tried to be part of the solution instead of being the problem.

    Since the Newtown Massacre (about a month ago) 695 Americans have died because of guns.

    This insanity MUST STOP.

    January 11, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  15. jason d morris

    NRA math: 3.3 million elementary and middle school teachers = 3.3 million guns sold. what a windfall for the gun manufacturers! and you gun nuts thought the NRA was doing this for philosophical reasons. wake up! it's all about the money, you dummies.

    January 11, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  16. Realityblowz

    The reason for the guns that are of these type is to keep our government from becomming tyrannical. A lot of you people are dillusional enough to believe that this could not happen in the U.S. Yet you complain about the TSA at the airports stopping you, now the TSA is on the highways stopping travelers. They keep ratcheting up the police state, as our currency goes to garbage under the debt. Of course they want us disarmed. In a matter of months, we face a real possibility of riot and collapse. Can't allow the people to defend themselves from a government that put them in that position can we. Haven't you learned anything from the past 120 years of history? Nevermind.

    January 11, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. Sniffit

    "In a matter of months, we face a real possibility of riot and collapse. "

    Ermahgerd!!!! Ermahgeddon!!!!!

    January 11, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  18. v_mag

    Let's try this for 10 years. If it doesn't work, we can try something else:

    1. Ban manufacture, sale and ownership of semi-automatic weapons and any guns that cannot reasonably be used for self-defense or hunting.
    2. Tax gun sales to pay for a buy-back program. Destroy all bought-back weapons.
    3. At the end of some grace period, possession of banned firearms gets an automatic (pun intended) 10-year jail sentence.
    4. Limit the amount and type of ammunition for sale, tax ammo sales, and record sales. Background checks for ammo sales.

    I guarantee, gun violence will drop drastically.

    January 11, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  19. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    The NRA ran a story recently on Faux news about some Georgian woman who used a revolver to shoot an intruder while she and her kids hid in the closet. CNN has recently aired the story but I'm skeptical about anything coming from the NRA and Fuxu. First the article said the intruder was shot fives times but managed to flee the scene. Then in another paragraph it was reported that the armed occupant told the gunman to remain on the floor as he bled. Then it was reported that the assailant got up and ran to his car and then drove his car into a ditch while the occupant and her kids flee the house. At the end of the article, the assailant's name is given and it was said he is currently being treated at a local hospital. So this man took four shots in the torso and one in the neck and he managed to flee the scene, get into his car and drive several blocks??? Sounds like Big Foot to me or perhaps the Bionic Man. And why didn't this woman call the cops while the assailant was lying on the floor? O' I got it, the phone was down stairs and she was afraid he'd get back up and attack her again and ker kids again or perhaps she just knew he was going to drive his car into a ditch and get caught by the cops. Let's face it, anything coming fron Fuxu news and the NRA is fishy to me. I'd like to see a mug shot of Bin Laden. I mean a mug shot of this guy.

    January 11, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  20. kim

    It has been widely reported that 74% of NRA members would support better controls on gun purchases and registrations. If that is really true, which is highly doubtful, then that 74% should prove they are serious and drop their memberships in the NRA. Otherwise, NRA members can not be taken seriously about anything they say. It has also been reported that their membership is up by 100,000, so I guess they are just blowing smoke up everyones butt when they claim to be concerned.

    January 11, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  21. Radio CIA

    Want to see how a gun ban can curb gun violence? Look to Australia, where gun crime has increased by over 50 percent.

    Compared to countries that have draconian gun laws, the US has a remarkably low violent crime rate. An armed society is a polite society.

    January 11, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  22. Brett

    Seriously, will people quit calling semi auto rifles automatic and also quit calling bushmasters assault weapons. Wanna know some assault weapons, look up m14, m4, m16, ak47, ak74, mp5, p90. Those are assault weapons. They are used by swat, soldiers, terrorists, police, etc. A bushmaster 223 is a scary looking rifle, and thats the only thing it has. People are so ignorant.

    January 11, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  23. Anonymous

    Who is the government to say what I can and cannot possess ? You don't see why citizens should have "assault weapons" and I ask why not ? And were does CNN get its facts regarding gun shows. If you purchase a firearm from an FFL dealer at a gun show or anywhere else you must pass a background check. Get your facts straight people. The current administration is launching an assault on the constitution, the 2nd amendment is only the start. Wake up America !

    January 11, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  24. Radio CIA

    If we don't learn from history, we're doomed to repeat it.

    Six million Jews.

    The Holocaust was made possible only by first disarming the people.

    January 11, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  25. Danny

    Hunting has nothing to do with the 2nd Amendment. It's your "right" not "need" to own a fire arm to protect yourself, family, and the country if need be. Go back to school and take a history lesson on why these amendments are in place and clearly worded the way they are. Instead of just following other people actually do some research. But then again that's how we got here, most people just follow blindly.

    January 11, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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