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. Darth Vader's Mentor

    This whole gun control push is a distraction to his legacy because the President can't deliver on what is really critical to this country: JOBS.

    January 13, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    The only people for this.......are those in government who seek to take your rights, and make you subjects of a dictator.

    January 13, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. Nietodarwin

    I had hoped the Newtown tragedy would have made many NRA members END their membership, and yet they have increased. In my town you can't buy ammunition anymore, because it's ALL SOLD OUT. We have a serious problem in this country. I grew up with guns, but I despise the NRA. The Senator is correct, this is NOT "your father's NRA." (It was, but we ended our membership long ago because of their behavior in the political arena.) 20 dead kids and 100,000 new members. SICK SICK SICK

    January 13, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  4. Steve

    ....and this isn't your father's representative government. I use the term "government' loosely.

    January 13, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. Caribbean Reader

    Before I forget, I do not agree that most americans would gladly ban weapons on the hands of private citizens. Most would like to prevent unstable, sick people or criminals from having them. That is not the same as saying that 99% of americans want to get rid of all firearms.

    January 13, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. donna in CO

    Bravo to all the Congressmen and women from both sides of the aisle who are willing to stand up to the NRA. Their membership represents a paltry 1.4% of our total population. They do NOT deserve the influence that the gun manufacturers lobbying money is buying for them. Congress, it's time to do your job: Stand up for the interests of the 98.6% of the population that does not belong to the NRA ! Ban assualt weapons. There's absolutely no reason for anyone but the military to have them.

    January 13, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. Sully, SW CT

    VA Tech was carried out with 2 pistols, how would an assault rifle ban stop that
    Columbine happened under an assualt rifle ban, how did that work out
    Murphy is an idiot and the only reason he won (barely) was because he went up against a wrestler
    He better learn his place or he'll be looking for a job really soon, like next election

    January 13, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    Ignore NRA thugs in this nation. They are the problem.

    January 13, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. bobden

    Yes, teachers need to be armed– just NOT WITH GUNS. They need to be armed with an alarm button so that the location of the terrorist is known, and with a couple or three cans of bear repellent spray. Or some kind of spray that will reach 15 or 20 feet and blind the person with the gun.

    January 13, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. Rick

    I have yet to figure out how anyone even thinking about banning guns such as the AR15 which is now the most popular selling rifle in the US, or handguns such as the 9 mm with clips that rountinely hold 8-12 rounds of ammo, expect to deal with the millions of rifles or handguns legally purchased and owned throughout the US. I have NO intentions of getting rid of my rifles, shotguns or handguns. I have a permit to carry a handgun. I will keep going to the gun range to shoot periodically. I cannot connect the dots in the arguments about banning certain guns. Criminals do not play by the rules. Only the law abiding citizens seem to be the ones hurt in these discussions. While some areas or some States in the US might get away with banning certain guns, the majority will not. Period. Not going to happen.

    January 13, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    A single shot musket was good enough for the Continental Army. If you can't kill with one shot you shouldn't be hunting.

    January 13, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  12. rarinmn

    If there's all this support in Congress for bans on assault weapons and other restrictions where are the sponsors and co-sponsors of the legislation? Sen. Feinstein's proposals have been in the news for weeks yet they are never referenced by anyone, let alone heralded as the solution to any problems. Nor has anyone else offered similar legislation.

    This is the reason why the talk has shifted to executive orders. It's simply an admission that there is no broad support by either party or the public to wade into a debate about spurious gun control ideas, particularly bans. By now even the most ardent gun control enthusiasts can see that this talk of bans has fueled the panic to stock up on weapons and ammunition.

    While we may see a move toward more universal and thorough background checks that's about it. This country has never successfully banned anything and with millions of so-called assault weapons in the public's hands any ban would be futile.

    January 13, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    trex, only in your dreams. there are over 300 million weapons in the hands of law abiding citizens and only a very small percentage of those owners belong to the NRA while another 1.5 million belong to NAGR. don't expect all the millions of legal gun owners to go silently into the night without having a say in their own future.

    January 13, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  14. twain45

    What kind of person joins the NRA after a tragedy like Newtown? Keep me away from those people.

    January 13, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  15. Bill Smells

    "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."

    The Pittman–Robertson Act generates between 177 and 324 million dollars a year. In the 1970s, amendments created a 10% tax on handguns and their ammunition and accessories. In January 2010, over two billion dollars of federal aid has been generated through this program. That money goes to the Federal Government and then the State Governments.

    It's going to be a cold day when all of that money goes away and as a result every other tax payer will be on the hook to supplement it.

    January 13, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  16. Diogenes

    Its not my fathers USA any more as well. More like the USSR every day

    January 13, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. HobbyBob

    Obama the Food Stamp president takes "Aim" at another American Industry.

    January 13, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. tred

    Number of of lives saved by guns owned by common man" Versus " Number of lives taken by common man owning guns"
    Math is simple – More innocent people die from guns each year than number of people being protected by their own guns.
    If people live in unsafe neighborhoods or the insecure families feel the need for guns; they should use "Stun guns" to zap a person down for a few hours till the law enforcement officers arrive. A dead person cannot justify if he was trying to attack or was unfairly attacked. We do not strict gun control laws, we need a total ban of guns, cigarettes, marijuana – that are solely used for minting money and affecting peoples lives.
    For hunting, people can rent a gun in that area , and return the gun once they come out of the hunting grounds.
    Drugs, depression drugs, illegal drugs , addiction to violent video games all cause mental problems and a gun in those folks make them 100 times
    more dangerous.
    Getting rid of guns from the streets, from ALL criminals and then guns from ALL people will make the country much safer.

    January 13, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  19. Diogenes

    Hey trex, sources please

    January 13, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  20. merlin215

    That's because of liberals and other self interest groups pushing to infringe on other folks as they had to re invent themselves . Look at all of their members and gun companies and try to think what it would do to remove a 32 Billion dollar industry ? I have no issues with this but I have issues with Spur of the moment Politics like this as its a joke to think that in 1 week the Obama Administration and Senator Murphy , With all due respect , can fix all of the gun laws . THAT is an injustice for itself . Didn't you watch the political talk shows this am ? First time in quite a while it was healthy to watch as talk of bipartisanship in dealing with ALL of the issues including gun control . They had some really wonderful ideas on gun control and Foreign issues ! Form a committee bipartisan and figure out what is going on and bring in some experts in all phases and figure it out . My issue is why it took so long to figure that part out but kudo's for putting the suggestion on the table ! To say that a new Democratic electee ( I know He is trying to protect his community ) come on like an expert and say this is kind of non productive in terms of resolving the issue correctly . Go back to private industry ... You may know what you are talking about there !!! The NRA made healthy suggestions , where are yours ?? Also Did you know that LA now has Patrols in the schools ? So how off was the NRA if the City of LA is now open to this idea ????

    January 13, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. Diogenes

    Dog 1 you are confusing ACLU with NRA

    January 13, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  22. KBNJ

    Whole section on gun control, but not PEEP about mental health. Yeah, that's productive.

    January 13, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. WeThePeopleWIllNotBeDisarmed !

    1775 England tried to disarm the American people... 1910 The Communist Bolsiveks came to power in Russian and did disarm the Russian people 65,000,000 of them died.. In 1936 Adolf Hitler Disarmed every JEW in Germany 6,000,000 jews died ... YES GUN CONTROL WORKS ! so that why the Government can kill off its own people.. its called DEMOCIDE !

    January 13, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  24. larsfox

    Hey Murphy- I've got news for you, this isn't our fathers' USA anymore, either! Our fathers' NRA wasn't concerned with overbearing government involvement in our lives; the "new" NRA is fighting for nothing less than fundamental rights, rights that are being eroded quite quickly with the advent of this administration. As goes the 2nd Amendment, so goes the 1st.

    January 13, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  25. JohnRJohnson

    It is simple math. The more guns there are, the more violence there is because guns are more accessible to criminals and unhinged individuals. The fewer guns there are, the fewer can be purchased, borrowed or stolen by criminals and unhinged individuals. The notion that more guns make us safer is preposterous on its face. There were armed security guards at Columbine. There was an armed civilian at Tucson, who said he almost shot one of the people who was disarming the shooter. Many massacre killers wear body armor. Most of these self-anointed Wyatt Earps would have been shot dead at Aurora. If having more guns meant a safer society, then this would be the safest society in human history because there are more than 300 million guns in the US. Guess what? We're not even close to being the safest society. We lose more people to gun violence in a single year than all of the troops that have been lost in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last ten years.

    January 13, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
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