When the NRA released its gun-control proposal on Thursday, it had to contend with a backlash that has been simmering in the gun-rights community for weeks.
After the president said he was open to reauthorizing the 1996 law, some of his supporters said they wanted to “ban guns” and others questioned whether the proposal would pass.
“The NRA wants to ban gun ownership in America.
It’s a disgrace.
But the answer is, ‘No,'” NRA President Wayne LaPierre said in a statement, adding, “We’re not going to be bullied into a decision that will be made by a few members of Congress.
We will continue to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans and protect our Constitution.”
But in the days since, some in the NRA have been more forceful.
In a statement on Thursday morning, the organization said that the “obvious conclusion” to gun owners is “that the NRA will never work to limit the Second Amendment right of any individual to own a firearm.”
“The reality is that the NRA has never advocated a ban on firearms.
It never supported any gun control measures in the past,” the NRA said in the statement.
“As a result, the NRA’s position has never been ‘we don’t want you to own guns’ but rather ‘We will always protect the Second and Fourth Amendments.'”
As The New York Times noted, the group is also one of the few organizations that is not a party to the U.S. Supreme Court case that allowed the Supreme Court to strike down parts of the 1996 Gun Control Act, which prohibited gun ownership for felons and those deemed to pose a “high” risk to public safety.
The NRA said it plans to spend millions of dollars on ads and ads that “tell the story of the NRA and its commitment to protect our Second Amendment rights.”
The organization has spent more than $1 million on television ads since the shooting, which killed six people and injured 13 others, according to a Times analysis of Federal Election Commission data.
The campaign, which includes a “Stop the NRA” television ad and a “Stand Your Ground” billboard, will begin airing on Thursday.
The ad will run on Fox News, MSNBC and other broadcast networks.
In an interview with the Times on Thursday evening, LaPierre defended the NRA as “the largest organization in America” that has a “very important role in protecting the Second Amendments.”
He said the group “has done nothing wrong,” but added, “the NRA will always be prepared to fight for the Second amendment.”
The NRA is one of a few groups that has never supported a ban of guns.
In fact, it has been the largest gun-owners rights group in the country since the 1960s, the Times said.
NRA president Wayne LaPriele said he believes in the Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution, which protects the right to bear arms.
In the same interview, LaPrile said the organization has “never advocated a gun ban.”
But he added, the gun rights community has always been against “banning guns.”
The Times reported that the group has raised nearly $3.3 million since its announcement, and has a staff of more than 300,000 people.
The group has been a vocal opponent of gun control since its founding in 1964, with the group’s founders saying they wanted “to save our country from the tyranny of the gun.”
It has long been the strongest opponent of federal gun-safety measures, including a 1996 ban on military-style assault weapons and the assault weapons ban of 1994.
The Second Amendment “is a fundamental part of our Constitution and has been in existence since the ratification of the Constitution,” LaPierre told the Times.
“It’s important that we respect and defend that amendment.”
LaPierre also called for “a complete ban on the sale of military-grade assault weapons, the purchase and possession of high-capacity magazines, and a national standard for the labeling of all military-type weapons.”
The proposal “would require background checks, background checks for all firearm purchases and all firearm sales,” he said.
It is unclear how the NRA plans to respond to the NRA ad.
In late January, the Washington Post reported that LaPierre had called for an immediate review of the “assault weapons ban” after the shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn.
The newspaper said LaPierre’s comments followed comments by the NRA board chairman, Wayne LaValle, in which he called the law “not constitutional” and accused “the media” of having “slanderous” and “anti-gun” articles about him.