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. LOL

    Every time there is an arguement from or with the "NRA" I hear the same garbage line "It's not your father's NRA". is. The same loonies are running it for profit. What more is there?

    January 13, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. Ordinary Average American

    The NRA has to realize that it does not speak for all of us. I've never owned a gun and never will because I'm not in to killing things . . . you're either a killer or you're not and I'm not and, if my survival comes down to being armed so I can safely watch a movie or shop at the mall, shoot me now!

    January 13, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    As a gun owner, I am all for registration of all firearms. I was a member of the NRA, years ago, when it represented me, and when its main ideals were safety of the American people – teaching hunter safety, rilfe and shotgun education, the support of shooting as a sport, in both paper targets and clay. It was taken over by the right wing, way back in the 60s and 70s, and has been getting more and more paranoid since. The gun companies use it to push their money making agenda, and that is the ONLY reason for their support today. Now – we have this 5,000,000 group, a very small majority of the American people, who are raising Caine (and killing Able and all the other kids) about "their" rights, completely ignoring the rights of the rest of the population to exist in peace and harmony. If they had pushed these military type weapons, large magazines, etc. for the past 30 years, they would have not been out there for the kooks to purchase or steal, and use on others. Passing new laws today, will not stop mass murder tomorrow, but lets give it a chance to help slow it down, and eventually stop it 30 years from now. Pass the law, support the law once passed, and dont be like some of the political leaders saying that we should ignore it and hied our weapons blah blah blah. Its getting terrible, being looked upon, by the rest of the world, as a country of gun nuts.

    January 13, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  4. al

    gee almost 4 million members , thats, 1% looks like america loses again

    January 13, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  5. Justwondering

    Where is every American's common sense? Own a gun if you want to, just not the kind that can massacre people. And anyone who watched Alex Jones on Piers Morgan's program the other night should be afraid, very afraid, of lunatics like him who advocate guns. I expected him to pull one on Piers and shoot him right there on the program.

    January 13, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. John

    The Second Amendment stats: "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."

    What part of "A well regulated Militia" does the NRA not understand? Nobody is denying "the right of the people to keep and and bear Arms". People are, however, living up to the first section of the Second Amendment which again, clearly states, "A well regulated Militia". I guess the NRA only cares about a portion of the Second Amendment and not the entirety of it.

    January 13, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. Anthony in California

    @Monali Khandagle well said. Agree completely.

    I bet if bullets were extremely expensive, and sold only through the military or law enforcement.. we's see a decrease in crime. Lets say 250$ a bullet? We'd still have gun crime, lets not kid ourselves.. but i guarantee criminals would be less eager to go around spraying a couple thousand dollars worth of ammo because they were having a bad day.

    January 13, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. NotFooledByDistractions

    Few gun huggers actually have a clue as to what the NRA actually does, what it promotes. For over 4 years now, the NRA has been playing gun enthusiasts for dupes and lemmings – stoking paranoia and fear – all to gin up sales for the gun and ammo manufacturers. The NRA lost it's way in the 70's, and is nothing but a money grubbing lobbyist group now.

    January 13, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  9. Big Bird

    Everyone is trying to get their narrative across. Goody for them. The NRA has added 100k members in the last month. Memories fade and people move on. We have a President and Media who hates guns and gun owners. We have a congress that is split with a significant number of democrats from gun states some of whom are up for reelection. Republicans have zero benefit for supporting any of this. Gun owners have a long memory. Good luck on getting any substantive legislation through. HA HA HA!

    January 13, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  10. nik green

    The overarching purpose of the citizens' right to gun ownership (2nd Amendment), as laid down by the Founders, was to protect the people from tyranny in government. Tyranny arrived with the Cheney/Bush administration, and is continuing with the Obama regime – and what has the self righteous, sanctimonious NRA done to challenge tyranny while the rights and liberties of We The People are being summarily stripped away, day by day? NOTHING. Diddly. Squat. Zilch. A big, round, fat, zero.

    January 13, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  11. LeonC

    Another 'progressive' politician who will strip our civil rights to compell us to bend to their anti-American agenda, all the while standing on the graves of dead children. The current influenza outbreak has been blamed for the deaths of 18 children, 2 fewer than died in Newtown. What say you Senator?

    January 13, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. Bob

    Please. Anyone that quotes the 2nd amendment, quote the WHOLE 2nd not just the little bit in the middle you like.

    January 13, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  13. Nick

    All of these gun owners that think that the NRA cares about them make me laugh. The NRA cares about one thing, which is making money. The moment that it becomes more profitable for them to support individuals not owning guns(and between the way that corporate American and the government both keep gaining influence, I don't think that moment is far off), they will change their tune.

    January 13, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. chica

    This is not the country my father served,it more and more like the countries my father fought....

    January 13, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  15. jOE

    Even if the NRA will hit 5 million membership, there are still more than 325 million Americans, the silent majority, who can potentially be forces against the NRA. NRA does not represent the majority of people, there is no reason to fear it if a politician truly represent the people. There are ways to defeat the NRA. It may take some time to defeat it, but if people are truly motivated to defeat it, they can. It takes 100 years for the NRA to grow to today's position, it will take some time to get them defeated, but it can be defeated.

    January 13, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. larry banal

    even at 5 million...NRA membership is only 1.8% of america's population so their voice should not be as loud as it is except that it is backed by BIG gun money

    January 13, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  17. Anthony in California

    I keep hearing the pro gun crowd talk about "this would spark the next revolution". Is this some sort of call to violence? A threat that gun owners, NRA members would raise up against the big bad government depriving them of their rights? If so, I think those military drones would end it pretty quick, preserving MY Right to live in a safer gun free environment. (i know that sounds twisted, but its true) So go ahead and bring that "knife to a gun fight" and see how quickly the hugest Military in the world responds to suppress any sort of violent revolution. Hope it'd never come to that, but by the way a lot of these commenters speak on this site, it wouldnt surprise me if some backwoods militia decided to go all Waco TX on us.

    January 13, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  18. Robrob

    NRA = barely 1% of the population. Why should anyone listen to them?

    January 13, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  19. Name lynn

    confuse confuse these people is something else we going to see whose right and his wrong. about the nra

    January 13, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  20. scott bleyle

    Gun fatalities aren't in top ten causes of death in U.S. influenza has killed more than my gun,where's the uproar!

    January 13, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  21. Robrob

    "THe NRA is not getting a commission from arms manufacturers based upon sales volume."

    Correct, the NRA is living off donations from gun sales. Just like any other scam charity, it depends on keeping that money stream flowing.

    January 13, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  22. JACK

    MONALI: this liberal wants- to tax me for owning a gun and do it every year that i own a gun, i say we should tax stupid that way monali and all his/her liberal friends would be footing the bill.
    if you tax me for exercising my second amendment rights what is going to keep the goverment from taxing us for voting or exercisins our first amendment rights
    like forest said "stupid is as stupid does"

    January 13, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  23. JohnRJohnson

    MORE GUNS means more guns that criminals and unhinged individuals can buy, borrow or steal. FEWER GUNS means fewer guns for criminals to buy, borrow or steal. FEWER SEMI-AUTOMATIC pistols and rifles means fewer massacres and fewer fatalities in the massacres that occur. IT IS SIMPLE ARITHMETIC. Scarcity of these weapons will do two things: Make them less accessible to potential mass killers AND make the guns that remain much more costly. THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO MAKE THESE WEAPONS AS SCARCE as humanly possible as soon as possible. THERE IS NO RATIONAL ARGUMENT for private ownership of military-grade weapons, i.e. automatic and semi-automatic rifles and pistols. ASK ANY POLICE FORCE. If you are so paranoid that you think you need home protection, buy a revolver or a shotgun. If you want to be a big game hunter, buy a bolt-action, scoped hunting rifle.

    January 13, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. Please Grow Up

    Since the right of Amendment 2 is designed to provide a ready military (invented before we had a standing army), registration is mandatory. So is participation in a ready military. As a gun owner, be prepared to protect yourself. As a responsible gun owner, refrain from threatening the unarmed. The rights of the unarmed TRUMP those of the armed.

    January 13, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  25. Ralphie

    Gun owners are frightened people.

    January 13, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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