TODAY   |  May 05, 2013

NRA rallies members over the future of gun laws

The NRA is now claiming a record five million members, and during its annual convention it framed the gun control debate as stretching beyond gun rights. The group said it is now focused on the future, including next year's midterm elections and beyond. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports.

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>>> convention today, and its leadership is laying out future plans when it comes to the gun control debate. gabe gutierrez is in houston for us. gabe, good morning.

>> reporter: lester, good morning. the nra is framing debate as stretching from gun rights to a larger culture war . the group is focused on the future. next year's midterm elections , and beyond. now claiming a record 5 million members, the nra is as defiant as ever.

>> we will never surrender our guns. never.

>> reporr: fresh off its congressional victory over expanded background checks --

>> we must never confuse winning a battle with winning the war.

>> reporter: -- the group's leadership is turning its attention to the 2014 midterm elections . a point brought home by political commentator glenn beck .

>> it's not just the democrats. it's the republicans as well. the problems are everywhere.

>> reporter: also for the first time, nra executive vice president wayne lapierre is linking the gun control debate to the aftermath of the boston bombings. as police search for an armed suspect in an area where he says gun ownership is heavily regulated, lapierre argues residents were sheltered in place with no means to defend themselves.

>> how many bostonianwish they had a gun two weeks ago?

>> reporter: outside the convention this weekend, small protests on behalf of victims of gun violence . vina daniel was shot and killed by her estranged husband. her brother, a longtime gun owner and nra member, supports expanded background checks for gun sales.

>> if we can save just one life, i think we owe it to ourselves to do that.

>> reporter: but today, the nra is looking ahead.

>> our future depends on young nra members.

>> reporter: none younger at this convention than 3-year-old aliya wagon. her adoptive parents say her grandfather bought her a lifetime membership.

>> being a member of the nra , for me and for my daughter, for my sons, is teaching them that they have to actually protect their freedoms.

>> reporter: and it's the last day of the convention, getting under way, lapierre says the nra is on a mission to double its membership. lester in.