NRA Vows To Continue Fighting Clinton Administration On Gun Action

July 7, 2008 - 7:02 PM

( - The National Rifle Association vowed Thursday to continue fighting the Clinton administration, as the administration attempts to bypass Congress in its efforts to tighten firearms restrictions.

"We're not going to rely on Congress. We're going to find other avenues," said White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart. "It's our overall sense that this is something the American public is demanding."

Lockhart comments came after White House Chief of Staff John Podesta convened a group of administration officials to discuss gun control strategy. Wednesday's meeting at the White House included Clinton's domestic policy advisor Bruce Reed, Deputy Treasury Secretary Stuart Eizenstat, Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo.

In particular, the group focused on possible actions Clinton could take to tighten firearms restrictions: Those actions include executive orders, new federal regulations or new legislation beyond the bill that is now bottled up in Congress.

"We believe that Congress has frustrated the American public on the issue of gun safety. We have more than enough evidence that we need to take steps," Lockhart said.

Wednesday's meeting came after the Clinton administration threatened to file a federal lawsuit - on behalf of the nation's public housing authorities -- against gun manufacturers in a bid to pressure them to negotiate with cities and states over the costs of gun violence.

The National Rifle Association is crying foul and vows to continue fighting the administration.

"This is a frightening holiday greeting from Bill Clinton and Al Gore. No lawful industry is safe. Who will they sue next, automobile makers? The distiller industry? Manufacturers of baseball bats and kitchen knives? If some deviant person misuses your lawful product, this administration will sue you, rather than hold the criminal responsible," James J. Baker, executive director of NRA's Institute for Legislative Action said in a statement.

The NRA said during the past year, fourteen states enacted legislation preventing municipalities from filing lawsuits against lawful manufacturers, and Baker predicts that more states would adopt similar legislation in the coming year.

"These suits are clearly wrong headed, most Americans agree that they're wrong, and the NRA will continue to work with Congress and state legislatures to ensure that this effort ends up in the judicial waste bin in which it belongs," Baker said.