The National Rifle Association announced this week that the month following the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn. has been fantastic for business.
An NRA representative told US News & World Report that 250,000 new members had joined the organization's ranks over that period, paying at least $25 for a reduced rate on a one-year membership. The claim came less than a week after the NRA reported to Politico that 100,000 new members had joined since Dec. 14.
The NRA tells US News that its membership growth was closer to 200,000 at the time of the Politico report, and that many more members have flocked to the group in the last five days.
"I would say that every time President [Barack] Obama opens his mouth and [California Democratic] Sen. [Dianne] Feinstein opens her mouth and they talk about gun bans and restricting the rights of law abiding Americans, people pay attention to that and sign up," Andrew Arulanandam, the NRA's public affairs director, told US News.
According to the NRA, the latest membership surge puts its total numbers at over 4.25 million, but a recent report in Mother Jones suggests that the association habitually inflates its ranks. Mother Jones claims the NRA's true size is closer to 3 million.
Representatives for the group sat down last week with Vice President Joe Biden, leader of Obama's task force, and concluded that the administration had an "agenda to attack the Second Amendment."
The administration has since drawn criticism and concern from pro-gun advocates, who have taken Obama's declaration that he'll seek executive action on the issue of gun violence as a signal that his administration is preparing to mount a "gun grab."
So far, the proposed measures reportedly include efforts to ramp up background checks, enforce stricter record-keeping, strike down limits on federal research into gun use and crack down on gun trafficking.
Obama and Biden are slated to present the full package of legislative and executive measures at a White House event on Wednesday at 11:45 a.m.
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