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. RINO Bill

    As much as I despise the NRA, I am going to have to agree with them on this one.

    VP Joe Biden seems to be using the most recent tragic events to further a political goal and not to solving the problem. It is too bad that Biden seemed to only want to be able to say, "I had the NRA at one of our meetings." Maybe he should have listened to them too. Granted, not all of their ideas are good, but if there is one thing at which the NRA is good, it is promoting firearm safety and that includes the safe and secure storage of firearms. There are many ways to make firearms unavailable (or at least unuseable) to unathorized users withouty restricting their availablity to law abiding citizens.

    Biden's inability to think outside the box will inavriably cause laws and programs to be put in place, by his boss, without increasing our safety one iota.

    Feel good legislation is generally ineffective and expensive.

    January 11, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  2. sean

    You guys think you can take away our guns. Please think about this logically. We have guns. Half of the vets and military have sided with us. If you try to take our guns away there will be hell to pay. A lot of people will die unnecessarily. And it could all be avoided if you would leave our guns alone. These so called “assault" weapons account for less murders than any other gun made. Your logic is completely irrational.

    January 11, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. MikeNTNY

    CNN should check the facts before they post them. In New York state you go through the exact same checks at gun shows that you do at any legal gun dealer. How other states handle gun shows I do not know. Passing more restrictions only affects law abiding people. Criminals don't respect the law.

    January 11, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. Disappointed Deployed Soldier

    Wow all this happens when I'm away. Good thing I bought an AK-47 before. I love my country. I miss home. But whats the point of defending it if its imploding. If people don't want Firearms, don't buy one. Doesn't mean you have to regulate what we can have. I'm not giving mine up. Its on the liberal who opposed guns in general who doesn't have the necessary tools to defend his home and family. The supreme court said the police aren't responsible for citizens protection. I come from California and pizza gets to your house faster than the police. I'd rather be in prison knowing my family is safe, armed, and unharmed from dangers. Good luck. I'm not afraid of the National Guard.

    January 11, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. Dma

    Why should I trust the police, gov't, and other security agency's in this country when they want to restrict the rights of its own people of owning a gun, but at the same time, give guns to Mexican drug Cartels on our borders? It is also strange that our Presidents children have armed security guards at their school, but my own children should not have that option? We keep on demonizing a tool, but not the operator. You speak of all the people who have died since the Conn. shooting from guns. Should we ban cell phones from being in a car, according to you all the cell phones kill people every day, not the user of the phone. Or should we ban kitchen knives, because someone decides to stab someone with it. You blame seem to blame the user then, and not the knife. (double standard). I agree 100% that the mentally ill, ex cons who commited violent crimes should not be able to buy a gun (whether its a rifle, pistol, or shotgun). We should also educate the people who wants to own a gun, perhaps have mandatory training sessions. If the person fails, they are denied the right to purchase the gun. Training session should at least cover mental clarity as well as the operation of the firearm. and Mr. Morris, you must think that our wonderful gov't representatives are pushing their agenda's because they care, and don't want any money. Do the same math for how much the gov't will take money away from the people when the new fees and taxes are in place just for healthcare (by the way, healthcare is not in our constitution as a govt provided program), you are exactly right, it is about the money, not the people. Call both sides out on that accusation, not just the one you don't support.

    January 11, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. Marco

    As a Vet, and Gun owner, I do not see the need for the common citizen to have an assault weapon. I hear the argument that they want it for home protection. In reality it is an impracticle weapon for home defense unless you live in Iraq or Syria. The NRA has lost its way, they are no longer an organization there to support hunting and recreaiton use of firearms, they have become puppets of gun manufactures, working as external salesman for weapons. I was at a gun show recently and could not believe the number or radical groups that had set up shop there. The second amendment does give the citizens to bear arms, and NO one has said they are banning firearms. But i do agree that we need regulation on the type of firearms that are made available to the common citizen. This selling of assault weapons is plain crazy. Its time gun owners who respect the dont stand in the NRA believes, to stand up and be heard. The NRA claims that there are 30 million gun owners in the USA, 4 million are members, what does that tell you. They do not speak for the majority of the gun owners in the USA. Stand up America , time to protect our society, and kids, by removing these weapons off the street.

    Disclosure: Veteran, served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Owner of three hand guns and two hunting rifles. College Graduate MA.

    January 11, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. Facts Check

    I've purchased guns at gun shows...I've been run the NICS every time since its implementation (big gun shows have actually overwhelmed and shut down NICS with call volume...no loophole there).

    Gunshows hold no special privilege currently; every venue is subject to the same law and regulation: it's either an Federal Firearms Licensed dealer Transfer or a Private Sale. The law is already there, unless of course someone chooses to ignore the law; more laws will surely stop that.

    January 11, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. Pete

    Doesn't anyone remember how citizens used these semi-auto rifles (assault rifle is just a word used by the media to scare you) to protect themselves from looters after Katrina, Sandy and the LA riots?

    January 11, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. don

    and criminals will follow all laws right what a joke
    lets stop killing babies oh i forget that ok in eyes of people
    lets serve more drinks so people can go drive and kill some one oh wait already laws against that haha
    and laws against drugs that kill people so lets make more laws that crazies wont follow
    wake up people need get comon sense back and respect in the world and GOD

    January 11, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. Tom Hansen

    There are so many misinformed comments on this page its almost funny. Background checks ARE done at gun shows. The reason the 2nd amendment is there is to protect against an oppressive government. Saying banning guns will work is ludicrous it causes only criminals to have guns. I have never been arrested am a law abiding tax paying citizen. I have guns and will keep them. When you declare war on your own citizens you are not upholding your oath of office and are a traitor. Many of the comments on here are basically treasonous. I did not hide behind a fake name or initials as many of you have. I am a patriot I support law abiding citizens having the right to defend themselves not only from thugs but an oppressive government. People talking about confiscating guns are not living in the real world. This attack on our law abiding citizens rights is sending sales through the roof, you think people are buying them to give them up? You anti gun zealots wont be the ones enforcing it... who are you going to kill my 5 year daughters father? The people you are going to kill to pry them from hands are normal people like me. Fathers, brothers, sisters, mothers.... etc. I have never been arrested ever, I wont register my guns, I wont give up my guns I have been robbed, had my house broken into by a crackhead, had a friend stabbed and you tell me I don't have the right? My kid is safer with me than at school because of the so called gun free zone. The guns you seek to ban are used in a fraction of the crimes cars kill far more so do hammers for that matter. It is not the guns it is the breakdown of society.

    January 11, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. Wendy Thompson

    I believe that our Founding Fathers knew that goverment would get too big for their britches. That is why the States were to report what the people needed to the federal Government. it was not for the Federal Government to dictate to the States what they demanded. This is a Constitutional nation. For the People by the People. IF only one persons 2 Amendment rights were violated. That should be enough for this country to stand up and take NOTICE. Business' are being routinely invaded by the Federal Goverment without warrant or probable cause. People held against their Wills IN THE UNITED STATES. NOW Gun RESTRICTIONS to the enth degree. HITLER Did these things. Look where it has gotten those innocent people. Dead. The 2nd Amendment is NOT about HUNTING... I can hunt with a bow. The 2nd Amendment rights Keeps a Government on an HONEST even tone with its Countries PEOPLE.
    IF you Dont LIKE the Countries Constitution by all means MOVE to a country you do like.

    January 11, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. wayno38

    Illegal drugs and illegal guns are used in our urban areas daily. No new laws inhibiting the "average" citizen will make any difference at all.

    January 11, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  13. tyler jeffs

    2nd ammendment gives people the right to keep and bear arms. You all are missing the point if you say things like gun nuts etc. The point is the government is for the people and of the people. We are not its servants but it ours. We have the right to keep and bear amrs as we choose. If we vote laws in fine, but government deciding without all the people voting, they are deciiding for us. This infriges upon our rights. If the peopled ecide to change the laws- then let the people decide not some gun grabbing nut job like Biden...... His lack of wisdom is exceptional! The past is bound to repaet itself, look at Nazi germany, China, Russia all of those terrible things happened because first the people were disarmed, then there wa sno way to fight back. Most of americans think this could or will never happen here. Neither did the germans folks neither did they!!!! WAke up people. It is not guns it is people doing these eveil things....

    January 11, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. Wes

    If any of you need to understand why we have the right to own "assault" weapons you should read and understand the meaning of the second amendment. It's not just about hunting, it's about the people being able to defend themselves from a tyrannical government, should ours ever become that way, and if you don't think it could happen here then you're just stupid. It's a shame that so many don't even know what the second amendment was actually made for. You people can call us gun nuts if that makes you feel better about your own delusions but it doesn't make you right. When I was younger and and dumber I felt the same way about assault rifles but when I got older I developed some common sense. The NRA is gaining close to 8000 new members per day. I joined the NRA today.

    January 11, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  15. Smc

    What is the plan when gun restrictions prove to be ineffective? Will you admit your mistake? Or will you demand more gun control? Many see where this is going and don't like it. Look around you, the world is shuddering. "civilization" is a thin facade. Ignore that at your own peril. Many here may be ok being led like a lamb to slaughter. But I , for one, see the potential and refuse to let you people who bury your head in the sand dictate my future. Make your choice and I will make mine. Being cogniscent of the realities of the world does not make me paranoid, just aware. Your "good intentions" have cost many their lives. One only needs to look at history to see the potential for chaos in our "modern" world

    January 11, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  16. SSVA

    If you people think that the way to end murder mass shooting is to ban the very firearms that insure our freedoms, then you are delusional. Ask any cop that works the streets if laws will stop criminals and psychos and they will tell you the truth. Criminals don't follow laws. You will only disarm law abiders. Then lets not forget the radical terrorists groups training on US soil that are foaming at the mouth, just waiting for out semi-autos to be banned. But the delusional think that they will turn over their illegal firearms when a law is passed. We are called gun nuts, yet we logically look at gun ownership and responsibility. A Denny's restaurant made an on-duty investigator leave because her gun was visible, and so was her badge. WOW!!! Our country was feed by men with guns and it remains so because of an armed citizenry. We can not fight tyranny with muzzle loaders. And if you think that a democratic government won't turn tyrannical, check your history books!

    January 11, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  17. Fact Checker

    Get your facts straight.

    All purchases from Federal Firearm Licensees must go through a background check regardless of location – store or gun show.

    January 11, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  18. lollllllll

    "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    I love Steves comment "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!!!!"

    You fail to comprehend the word regulated actually means an informed, trained, and prepared militia (citizens). The entire rest of the amendment clarifies this, "necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    NRA upholds the 2nd amendment in its entirety through the training and knowledge it provides to we, the people.

    You mainstream media followers have had the sheep's wool pulled over your eyes.

    January 11, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  19. Larry L

    @RINO Bill

    "There are many ways to make firearms unavailable (or at least unuseable) to unathorized users withouty restricting their availablity to law abiding citizens."
    Part of the recommendations will be to close the gun show loophole. Here in Texas you can sell "personal weapons" at gun shows w/o any FFL or background check – just give them the money and they give you the gun. I've done it many times. Another may be to license the weapons (or the person) to create a revenue stream to pay for background checks and credential people to own weapons. We do it with cars and drivers.

    Reasonable people are talking about limiting the production and resale of high capability and capacity firearms. Nothing in the 2nd Amendment defines the level of weaponry citizens are allowed to possess. That's where common sense is applied – something in short supply in the group obsessed with "tactical" weapons best suited for military purposes rather than self-defense, hunting or target practice.

    January 11, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  20. Calvin

    To Alex: I am not part of your people. I am an Army Veteran. I served and believe in OUR Constitution! "the right of the people to bare arms will NOT be infringed". If you look closer SIR you will find out the fact that in the Sandy Hook shooting an Assault rifle was never used! But, our Government it using that to scare people and it is working. They (the FEDS) always uses the term "for the good of the people" B/S . I am an American and do not want any part of the NEW WORLD ORDER. So don't try to force what you want down my throat because if the day comes to to defend this Country from a Domestic Enemy. Us Veterans will be the first line of defense! By the have you SERVED?

    January 11, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  21. Sniffit

    "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."

    Murders in Australia are down to record lows and you're citing myth that is completely and utterly the opposite of what has really occurred. Check FactCheck before you spew nonsense talking opints fed you by the gun sales advocates.

    In fact, prior to Australia enacting its gun control laws in 1996, guns were used in 24% of homicides. That is down to approximately 11%. Between 1995 and 2006, gun-related homicides dropped by 59% with no corresponding increase in non-firearm-related homicides and gun-related suicides dropped by 65%. During the decade prior to the 1996 laws, Australia suffered 11 mass shootings. Since 1996: ZERO.

    Let me repeat that for the slow children: ZERO.

    January 11, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  22. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    The next argument by Fuxu news and the NRA in the defense of assault weapons is going to read like this...

    A Georgian couple was asleep when an intruder broke into the home. After shooting the intruder six times with a revolver, the shooter kept coming at them because he was wearing a bullet proof vest. And it was only after the woman's husband loaded and fired their semi auto rifle that the large pearcing bullets seeped through the assailants vests resulting in a fatal blow. And they lived happily ever after.

    Acting Cast...

    Fuxu News
    The NRA

    Please stay tuned for the next scene coming to a gun store near you.

    January 11, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  23. Name64daBlonde

    The government should NOT step on our ammended right to bear arms HOWEVER, there is NO logical reason on Earth to argue the public John and Jane Doe's need for automatic and semi automatic weapons. The right to bear arms came about as simply a way to protect what we have and to protect the right to hunt. There will never be a law strong enough to keep the crazies and Whack-a-doo's from getting guns if they want them bad enough. What SHOULD be controlled are semi-automatics that are used in war and by the military. We citizens should NOT need to have that kind of fire power, its not necessary!! Leave the 6 shooter pistols and simple hunting rifles for all Non-crazy citizens to use and let the Military grade guns and rifles stay for our Military's sole use only. Everything else is a moot point and that shouldnt be debated. Bottom Line: The citizens of the U.S.A. should have the right to have one weapon to use for protection and one or two rifles for hunting....the rest go to the Military or cease to exist....Thank You!

    January 11, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  24. Tom

    The issue with background checks does not have to do with the buyers or the location, but rather the sellers. Licensed firearm dealers are required to do background checks on every sale, whether it is done at their brick-and-mortar store, at a gun show, or out of the trunk of a car. Those engaging in a private sale–that is, when the seller is just a regular gun owner not engaged in the regular business of dealling in firearms and simply wants to part with a piece of his or her personal collection to another regular person–are not required at this time to do a background check. Candy Crowley in a recent segment on her Sunday show did a fine job of properly explaining what has come to be deceptively known as the "gun show loophole," and did not use the term.

    Whatever your position on these issues, we reach the best conclusions with the least amount of acrimony when we stick to accurate definitions and explanations of the facts.

    January 11, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  25. R McGee

    You're a professional, highly regarded news organization. Why must you insist on reporting false facts about background checks at gun shows? In the state of Virginia one must undergo the exact same background check at a gun show when purchasing any firearm from a licensed dealer as one would in a brick & mortar store. In Virginia the only reason one would not have to undergo the background check would be when a verified resident of the state makes a personal sale/purchase to another verified resident of the state. The law allowing this to occur does not apply only at a.gun show. This may occur anywhere firearms are allowed.

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