Conn. Senator: NRA 'Morphing Into a Paramilitary Group'

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), stinging over the defeat of gun-control legislation, called new NRA president Jim Porter "really kind of the wing nuts' wing nut."

"And he exposes what the NRA has really become. I mean, the NRA kind of announced this weekend they're morphing into a paramilitary group, that essentially they're going to be advocating for armed resistance to the U.S. government," Murphy said last night on MSNBC.

"A new citizen paramilitary force is a pretty nice business model for the gun industry. So, when you got an NRA president going out there and saying we need to arm Americans in order to fight our government, well, that sells a lot more guns and that means more dues into the NRA and that means a little bit bigger budget to play with," Murphy continued

"So, I think this is just what the NRA has become. It's not a gun safety organization. It's not an instructional organization. It is now a voice for the gun industry and the gun industry needs a handful of citizens to buy a whole mess of guns in order to stay solvent. I think that their choice of this radical new leader is kind of a signal that's a direction that they're permanently headed in."

The junior senator from Connecticut called the efforts of states such as Alabama and Kansas to nullify laws seen as in violation of the Second Amendment "laughable."

"It's laughable also because it's a total bastardization of the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment is not an absolute right. It's not a God-given right. It has always had conditions upon it, just like the First Amendment has," Murphy said. "And this idea that the Second Amendment was put in there in order to allow citizens to fight their government is insane. If that was the case, we wouldn't have also included treason in the United States Constitution. We basically said if you take arms up against the government, we're going to knock your block off. And that's what the early presidents ended up doing in the Shay's Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion."

"So, the Second Amendment is not designed to allow the citizenry to arm itself against the government and nullification is just another example of states not understanding the true nature of that amendment."

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said his background check compromise with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) can pass if they "make some adjustments to it and find out where the comfort zone is."

The failure of the compromise on the Senate floor as the first amendment to Harry Reid's broader gun-control package prompted Reid to yank his bill from the floor.

"But what we need to do, really, is be out and educate the law-abiding gun owners like myself, people that might belong to the NRA or other gun organizations but don't believe this is a threat to their Second Amendment," Manchin said this morning on CBS.

"We have some people that were concerned it might infringe on any family transfers, and it doesn't at all. But we're going to clarify that language. So anytime that you transfer to family, whether it's directly or online, it would be basically not subjected to the background check, because that's a personal transaction with a family member. What we've done, is we've separated it. You have private, and you have, basically, personal, private, and you have commercial. If you're going to go to a commercial, whether it be background -- to a gun show, gun store or online, it should have background check," the senator continued.

Manchin called slams against his bill at the past weekend's NRA convention "just not true."

"If they just look at the face value of this bill, this bill does things they tried to do for 20 years. And, basically, it treats a law-abiding gun owner like myself and a lot of my friends in the NRA, treats them the way they should be treated, as a law-abiding gun owner," he said, noting that he "did" have an A rating from the NRA.

"I'm frustrated with any organization that basically is saying things -- and what they're doing, is they're rattling the cage, if you will, saying, 'Well, if they do this, they're going to do this. It's a first step.'"