National Rifle Association Executive Director Wayne LaPierre told a gathering of conservatives Friday it's time to "stand and fight" for U.S. gun rights.
People at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., cheered LaPierre when he said the true aim of the Obama administration is a universal registry of gun owners, The Hill reported.
He said tightening requirements for gun permits is a "placebo" because criminals will ignore the law.
"No matter what the elitists who scorn you say, let them be damned," LaPierre said. "Fill your heart with pride. Clear your eyes with conviction. This is your time to stand and fight."
The Dec. 14 massacre of 20 children and six staffers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., has created new momentum for gun control.
The killer, Adam Lanza, used weapons legally owned by his first victim, his mother.
"There are only two reasons for the federal government to create a federal registry of gun owners: To tax them or to take them," LaPierre said.
Speaking with reporters aboard Air Force One, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday President Barack Obama "believes in the Second Amendment" and the administration is focused on "moving forward with the implementation of a range of executive actions that the president has committed his administration to take" and working with congressional Republicans and Democrats "to move forward some legislative remedies to this problem."
"A number of these proposals have strong bipartisan support in the Congress," Earnest said.
Citing polling data that a large majority of Americans favor stronger background checks for gun sales, Ernest said there is "no reason we shouldn't be able to act in bipartisan fashion on some commonsense measures that would reduce violence, gun violence in our communities."