Connecticut Democrat questions NRA's influence
January 29th, 2013
06:03 PM ET
10 years ago

Connecticut Democrat questions NRA's influence

Washington (CNN) - A Senate proponent of new gun control measures said Tuesday the National Rifle Association is not the political force it once was and members of Congress should think about that as they consider whether to support restrictions on firearms.

"The reality is that in order to pass this legislation we do have to convince members of Congress that there is not a political price to pay for going against the NRA," Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat told reporters during a conference call.

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Murphy said he wanted to "debunk" what he called the myth of the NRA's political power and said the group "simply doesn't win elections like it used to." The Senator noted that of the 16 contested Senate races in 2012 the NRA was on the losing end in 13 cases.

Murphy cited figures on NRA spending in various races including that the NRA spent more than $10 million dollars opposing President Barack Obama. In Senate battles the NRA spent almost $900,000 in a failed effort to unseat Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown. The group spent more than $600,000 each to oppose Florida's Bill Nelson and Virginia's Tim Kaine. Both men won their Senate races.

The December 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in which 20 children and 6 adults were killed occurred in Murphy's home state. He is supporting new proposals to ban military-style assault weapons and to require background checks for ammunition purchases.

"If the design of a weapon is for sport or for hunting, then put in it private hands," Murphy said later Tuesday on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight." "But if the design of a weapon is to kill more people, then maybe we should reserve that for the military."

A representative from the NRA will be among those testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee during the first congressional hearings on gun violence since the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

Filed under: Chris Murphy • NRA
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Jane

    Wayne La Pierre looking to play THE JOKER in next BATMAN movie.

    January 30, 2013 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  2. A Kickin` Donkey

    To All Gun Owners Paranoid About Fighting a Tryrannical Government –

    Please go on the internet and Google "Drone Hellfire Missile Strike". Google "Armed Robotic Vehicle" while you are at it. Here is a news flash, your argument that you could fight the government with your AR-15 is ludicrous. It doesn`t pass the smell test.

    All the proliferation of assault weapons and high capacity magazines in the hands of John Q Public has done is advance the ARMS RACE and made us less safe on the streets and country roads.

    I don`t hunt, I go to BigY/Shoprite/Piggly Wiggly/Genardi. I don`t need a gun to protect myself & my home. I don`t begrude those that want to own a handgun, or a shotgun, or a "real" hunting rifle. Most of us Democrats don`t want to take all your guns away. But you don`t need an AK-47 [or a knockoff] to hunt Bambi, Donald, Porky, [or small varments] AND you can`t BEAT the weapon systems of the Government.

    Stop the madness.

    January 30, 2013 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  3. MikeinNM

    The US (with about 300 million citizens and about 300 million guns in private possession) has about 30,000 gun deaths (about two-thirds by suicide) and 45,000 gun injuries yearly. So, once every 7 minutes someone's getting shot at, and about once every 18 minutes someone dies from a bullet. Joe WeekendHunter doesn’t need the gun equivalent of a Marshall tank to snag a deer to feed his starving family. Ever hear of a butcher shop?! But seriously, some restriction on gun access and tighter background checks are not going to implode people’s rights. (Rest assured, we’ll still have enough firepower to explode the world’s population seven times over. Whew!) But maybe, just maybe, we can reduce that figure of 75,000 annual gun deaths and injuries. We should at least try.

    January 30, 2013 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  4. Name lynn

    Them democrates cannot control who can gets gun an who cant get guns in their hands,Obama the white house leaders, the democrates, nor the repubicans neverthe less, the NRA the crimmals will get guns in their hands.

    January 30, 2013 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  5. Marie MD

    Four millionh members and $21M for their political gain sounds like a drop in a bucket for me vs the rest of the country and money Just like $400M couldn't buy an election for the twit.

    January 30, 2013 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  6. Chris

    The NRA has approximately 4 millions members. That means the represent only slightly more than just 1% of the American population. Yet, for decades now, they have dictated gun policy for the entire country. For any lobby group – especially one that only has support from a sliver of the people – to wield that much influence is a disgrace to democracy.

    January 30, 2013 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  7. Washington Is Out Of Touch with reality

    here is my question to you, why are all democrats so hell bent on dictatorship and control of the people who put them in office, bet you wont answer it and if you do, it will be a lie.

    January 30, 2013 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  8. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    There's a political price to pay for going against the voters ,screw the nra who is just another crook lobby just like the oil lobby and grover norquest ,the voters will always win !!!!

    January 30, 2013 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  9. TomInRochNY

    Reasonable gun control legislation is just that, reasonable.

    January 30, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
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