NRA President David Keene wrote the following for CNN.com…
After President Lyndon Johnson signed the Gun Control Act of 1968, many anti-gun politicians looked forward to the day when they could completely ban the sale and ownership of firearms and perhaps even confiscate those already in private hands.
After the draconian legislation imposed restrictions on “dealing” firearms that resulted in the prosecution of countless innocent gun collectors, and recordkeeping on ammunition sales so useless that federal law enforcement agencies supported their repeal, Sen. Ted Kennedy wrote to the NRA to demand our support for a national gun licensing and registration system. A few years later, a Nixon administration advisory commission proposed that all side arms be outlawed and confiscated in about a decade.
That didn’t happen. Those hostile to firearms ownership and the Second Amendment thought they were on the verge of victory, but had in fact managed to wake up millions of Americans who hadn’t previously believed that government would ever threaten their guns or their way of life. They were joined by others who were not necessarily gun owners but believed the Second Amendment and the rights it guaranteed a free people worth preserving.