A day before President Barack Obama is scheduled to release Vice President Joe Biden's recommendations to curb gun violence in the United States, the National Rifle Association told U.S. News and World Report that they have seen membership grow by 250,000 in the month since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Politico reported membership had grown by more than 100,000 five days ago. The NRA says that when Politico reported the story, membership was close to 200,000, but the number has drastically grown in just five days. The association now has over 4.25 million members, but the NRA says that number is always fluctuating as memberships expire and new members join.
"I would say that every time President Obama opens his mouth and 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," says Andrew Arulanandam, the NRA's public affairs director.
The growing rate of membership comes as Obama is slated to announce both legislative proposals and executive orders related to Biden's findings on how to stop the spread of gun violence. The vice president has said that his committee is mulling over stringent restrictions on high-capacity magazines, a national gun sale database and closing the gun show loophole, which allows unlicensed gun dealers to sell firearms to customers without background checks at gun shows.
Biden sat down with the NRA last week, in what the association described as a disappointing meeting.
"We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment," the NRA said in a released statement Thursday. "While claiming that no policy proposals would be 'prejudged,' this task force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners—honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans."
New members can join the NRA with a one-year membership for $35, a two-year membership for $60, or become life members for $1,000. Members can also pay $25 up front, then be placed on a payment schedule until their lifetime dues are completely paid. Members receive an "official NRA members-only shooter's cap," a membership card and a decal and invitations to special NRA-only events.