Connecticut senator: 'This is not your father's NRA'
January 13th, 2013
11:44 AM ET
10 years ago

Connecticut senator: 'This is not your father's NRA'

(CNN) - Sen. Chris Murphy doesn't share the National Rifle Association's assessment that Congress won't pass an assault weapons ban.

"I think (the NRA) is wrong," the Connecticut Democrat said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." "I think that this issue is going to continue to move."

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On the same CNN program, NRA President David Keene said earlier he doesn't think there's enough support to get an assault weapons ban, or restrictions on high-capacity magazines, through both chambers of Congress.

Murphy, however, shot back, saying when the "president puts the full weight of their office behind legislative change, that certainly means something." The freshman senator was speaking on the show from Newtown, Connecticut.

Following last month's shootings at the Newtown elementary school, President Barack Obama tapped Vice President Joe Biden to lead a task force that would come up with proposals no later than this month to reduce gun violence. While meeting with a wide variety of stakeholders in the gun debate last week, Biden cautioned that "the president is going to act" and mentioned that executive orders could be issued.

READ MORE: NRA president says gun control efforts will crumble in Congress

Murphy said he does see movement on Capitol Hill toward wanting serious change in federal gun laws. He pointed to pro-gun Democrats with high ratings from the NRA, such as Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, both of whom have been outspoken on a need for change. He also mentioned conservative Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia, who recently said he favored some forms of gun control.

"That's a sea change if people like that in the Republican House Caucus are willing to look at this," Murphy told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley. "Newtown fundamentally changed things, and the NRA just doesn't get this. They've got to come to the table on gun control, just as they're saying they're coming to the table on mental health, because their previous allies and backers in the House and the Senate aren't with them anymore."

He took aim in particular at the lobby's influence.

"The NRA does not represent gun owners anymore. This is not your father's NRA. It represents gun manufacturers," Murphy said. "They make tens of millions of dollars off of purchases of guns."

Since the shooting last month, the NRA 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 the group will soon hit 5 million.

Murphy pointed to the organization's "roundup" program, which encourages customers to round the cost of their purchase up to the next higher dollar amount and give the difference to the NRA.

The NRA's Keene, however, argued with that notion earlier on "State of the Union," saying manufacturers are "not our constituency."

"Our constituency is twofold," he said. "It's the American people who want to own guns and use them legally, and it's the Second Amendment itself."

While the NRA sharply disagrees, Murphy maintained that an assault weapons ban would help stop more mass shootings, and he vowed to vote for such legislation if it comes to the Senate floor.

"There would still be little boys and girls alive in Newtown today, I believe, if you had banned assault weapons and these high-capacity magazine clips," he said. "And that's something we can do and do now."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Chris Murphy • Congress • Gun rights • NRA • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. Vernon

    The NRA has added 100,000 members since Newtown, so how does this idiot left-wing Democrat think the NRA is losing it's relevance. This liberal Chris Murphy doesn't know how to even define an "Assault Weapon".

    January 13, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. rock

    no...what this slop hog of the public trough needs to understand is he works for the people, and the sure fire way to being removed from publc office is to try to strip our rights, while he hides behind his armed guards!....

    January 13, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. jimbojoker

    NRA no relevance anymore

    January 13, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. vic , nashville ,tn

    Safety lessons for Gun owners that was the only goal for NRA in the beginning, later gun manufactures bought NRA to promote their gun sales. To promote gun sales NRA came up with slogan “we are here to protect second amendment”.
    Now NRA is all about money they don’t care who got killed

    January 13, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. DOG1

    Among all the discussion the nra, in yet another attempt to deflect any blame whatsoever, has advocated making sure people who are mentally unstable from being able to obtain weapons. I absolutely concur, and In that light, after watching Piers Morgans interview with Alex Jones with his usual deranged ranting, I believe Jones represents one of the first that should be looked at as someone whose mental instability merits being banned from gun ownership. Since the ban on gun ownership due to mental instability must be based on the smallest clues that someone may be a threat senior representatives of the nra, texas governors that advocate secession, ranters with proven drug problems like rush limpbaugh should also be looked at very carefully. Of course, based on the ongoing policy by the nra and gun manufacturers to make their buyers as paranoid as possible, so that guns sales and corporate profit continue at a high rate, we know that will never happen. The nra policies have produced a huge customer base that suffer from paranoia and are the ones who should NOT own a weapon.

    January 13, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. ruffsoft

    The NRA has 1 member for every 90 Americans. Most NRA members oppose the NRA position opposing all new laws, and support rational gun regulation, including the no-brainer: universal background checks to weed out criminals and crazies from buying assauilt weapons. Assault weapons include semi-automatics which can shoot off a hundred rounds with high capacity magazines, in a matter of 2 minutes. This is not an argument about semantics but about saving lives and keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally impaired.

    January 13, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. jpmichigan

    Why would any sane person want or need weapons of war with ammunition, if not at war? The second amendment was establish so sane individual could have guns in their home for self protection or hunting , not for hunting people/ children. More is needed in the mental health care of Americans , as well as removing the sale of weapons of war and ammunition.

    January 13, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  8. DOG1

    A comment in response to an earlier news article brought out one fairly good approach. Insurance companies who provide liability or homeowners insurance should be charging additional fees for people who are gun owners based on the type of weapon and per item. Perhaps an owner should pay a substantial bond for each weapon they own. And before you go there, I'm a gun owner too. What I do see is that the nra and the group of sheep they herd around may not realize that, if they don't learn to compromise, even a little, the ultimate backlash may result in laws and restrictions that go too far the other way. No pun intended but they may end up shooting themselves in the foot.

    January 13, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. sabrina

    What this man said makes me SICK. Lets not solve the problem because mental health is not a priority. We are in lean budget times, EXCUSE ME!!!!! Instead of spending the money it takes to solve this, they voted to give themselves a raise, themselves being Congress. They care NOTHING for our rights or what they can do for the people, all they think about is THEMSELVES!!!! People need to do research. How man times have guns saved people vs. how many times people have killed others.

    January 13, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  10. Tn_Newfie

    jpmichigan, where in the constitution does the 2nd amendment say it is for home self protection or hunting. I must have misread it. If you can point it out, I would greatly appreciate it, but just look at " Right to bear arms, shall not be infringed", is there hunting or home in there. Please explain it.
    Okay, lets ban guns, but sure to the criminals that guns are illegal, just so we are all treated the same. I am sure they will follow the law, because of their history to do so.

    January 13, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  11. Monali Khandagle

    Tax the gun sales, tax gun owners annually. Those in armed forces can be exempted.
    These taxes can be collected by cities, municipalities and used to fund the cost of policing, loss of life, injuries caused by their rabid obsession with gun ownership at all cost. Gun owners should be held liable for anyone using their gun to cause any harm to life and property. Let them feel the cost of their obsession. The right to own guns was enshrined to defend the country. Ask all gun owners to volunteer to fight the wars of America.

    January 13, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  12. JohnWV

    Soldiers visited households on the mandatory French gun registration list in World War Two Occupied France. Cruel examples were made of those who would not, or could not, not surrender their guns. In post Katrina New Orleans, authorities visited households on the mandatory gun registration list and (illegally and unconstitutionally) confiscated all guns. Police and soldiers were too few to control overt and rampant gang criminality. Families were rendered vulnerable and defenseless. Some suffered horribly.

    January 13, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. Ray, Putnam,CT

    Senator Chris Murphy of CT made a misleading false statement Sunday on The State of The Union / Crowley show.
    He claimed the NRA gets a percentage from some arms manufacturers based upon weapons sold. By stating this, he was deliberately trying to distort the NRA "Round Up" program. In actuality, the "Round Up" is used by retailers such as MIdway USA and other shooting sport retailers to receive a contribution on behalf of the NRA. For instance, if I order a gun cleaning kit online for $14.25, upon check out I will be asked if i want to "Round Up", thereby making a .75 contribution to the NRA. THe NRA is not getting a commission from arms manufacturers based upon sales volume.
    Please get your facts correct Senator Murphy of CT.

    January 13, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. trex

    ......The NRA constatly screams about it's 3 MILLION PLUS members..............Well, I am starting to hear from the 331,567,318 OTHER AMERICANS................Lets see .....331 million.........minus.........3.5 million ...= NRA LOSES BIG

    January 13, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. rconatser1

    The NRA is the most successful terrorist organization in this country...if not in the world. And thanks to lobbying, they extend their power through money, ignorance, and fear. No wonder they're such a hit with Republicans.

    January 13, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Pablo

    I have taken NRA safety classes. About 22 hours worth and they are far better than the safety class I received from the sherriff's department regarding firearms safety when getting a permit to acquire a gun. The NRA classes dealt with storage, safety, cleaning, basic marksmanship and legal issues for my state.

    The NRA could focus on the safety and education mission that a good 60% of the organization deals with better if people didn't constantly attack gun rights.

    January 13, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  17. THX1953

    Dear Senator;

    The proper term is High Capacity Magazines.

    We expect better than this from you.

    January 13, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  18. Geof Gibson

    What you gun grabbers fail to understand is that gun registration ALWAYS leads to confiscation and tyranny. Ask Hilter, Stalin, Mao, and every other tin pot dictator like B. Huessein Obummer.
    The Second Amendment exists to protect freedom and prevent tyranny. Period. End of statement.
    All your bleating on about hunting and target shooting missies the point.

    January 13, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  19. Emily

    "There would still be little boys and girls alive in Newtown today, I believe, if you had banned assault weapons and these high-capacity magazine clips," he said."

    The Newtown shooting could have easily been just as bad if the guy had used revolvers or had used semi-autos with 10-rd magazines. He had almost 4 minutes to shoot people, reloaded more than once, and shot people multiple times even though they were already fatally shot. With that amount of time he could easily have killed 26 people using just a revolver. Remember, they were mostly kids who stood no chance of fighting back and had no idea what to do - once he shot the adults, the kids were easy targets.

    January 13, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  20. CP

    Im all for stricker backround checks and keeping guns out of the hands of people that shouldnt have them. Monali Khandagle- maybe you should do some more reading, any able bodied male between 18-45 is considered unorganized malitia in this country and most of you have no concept of what the 2nd amendment means, it is there for the people to protect themselves from tyrannical government, THAT is why we the people need an assault style weapon or large capacity mags, anyone that says otherwise please by all means draw on all the gun fights you've been in and tell me you only needed a couple rounds. If you don't like or want guns then just continue being sheep or move to England cause last I checked this was the land of the FREE and the ignorance of anti-gunners is gonna get us all killed.

    January 13, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  21. Rev. JTP

    JohnWV, You don't need an assault weapon to defend your home. No one here is talking about banning ALL guns, just assault weapons. Get with the picture.

    January 13, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  22. little tin god

    "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 think the NRA has forgotten the first part of the Second Amendment.

    January 13, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  23. Leftcoastrocky

    And the Tea Party is not the Republican party of your father - such as Ike, Daddy Bush, Dole and even Reagan. Tea Party has gone off the deep end, refusing to work as Americans and in effect acting as traitors by threatening to yet again damage the full faith and credit of the United States.

    January 13, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  24. wildbill

    Why would this man use the assault weapon,leave the school,take it back to his car,go back to the school and do what he did? It does not make sense. They found it in his car! I know the police are lying just so they band these weapons.

    January 13, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. GBfromOhio

    Gun registration, background checks and limits on capacity and rounds fired per second does NOT violate the Second Amendment. The kind of people who argue against this are the same people who think the earth is 6000 years old, Obama was born in Kenya, states have a right to secede from the union, and if a rape is legitimate the women can prevent conception. You cannot reason with these people, you have to pass sane laws and slap them down when they violate their gun ownership responsibilities.

    January 13, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
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