NEW YORK, N.Y. — National Rifle Association President David Keene warned Monday that there will be a “very rough and very ugly” over gun control, but said he believes his group will ultimately succeed in derailing new legislation. “Around the country, the tide is turning on these questions,” Keene told influential conservatives at the New York Meeting. “It’s going to be a very rough and very ugly battle, as many of you have already seen.”
“Fortunately, our enemy doesn’t have any guns and they don’t know how to use them,” he added.
Keene expressed confidence that Senate Democrats will not have enough support to pass most of President Barack Obama’s gun control agenda, including a new ban on assault weapons. He added that the NRA remains concerned that Congress will pass a bill that would require universal background checks for all gun buyers.
“Harry Reid has one interest and that’s the word majority in front of the word leader,” Keene said, noting that several vulnerable Senate Democrats are up for re-election in gun-friendly states next year. “If it were up to him, he’d slow walk this thing into the next century.”
“A lot of these folks are going to try to lose the most extreme things as they go forward,” Keene added. “We’re not going to give them that cover. The President says he wants votes — we want votes! This is going to cost some people their seats.”
Keene told attendees that the NRA is increasingly worried about the push for additional gun control measures at the state level. Several states — including Colorado and Maryland — are considering new legislation similar to the package of bills pushed through by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier this year. Those laws — which strengthen New York’s assault weapons ban and limits magazine capacities — are considered some of toughest gun legislation in the country.
Keene said that the NRA plans to fight these and similar measures in court.
“We believe that, if you don’t live in New York, your Second Amendment rights will survive this battle,” he told the meeting.
Following Keene’s remarks, attendees were given a three-minute primer on how residents of New York City can legally obtain a hand gun.
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