The National Rifle Association cast its opposition to Obama’s plans as “the fight of the century” in a letter circulated at the 35th annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show and Conference, known in the trade as “the SHOT show,” in Las Vegas.

“I warned you this day was coming and now it’s here,” Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s fiery executive vice president, wrote in a fund-raising letter to the group’s 4 million members. “It’s not about protecting your children. It’s not about stopping crime. It’s about banning your guns … PERIOD!”

The SHOT show draws more than 60,000 gun enthusiasts, dealers and  manufacturers to see the latest weapons and accoutrements. The convention floor contains 12 miles of firearms displays, mostly military-style assault rifles, and many booths display the kinds of high-capacity clips the administration wants to ban.

On Wednesday, the brass from the NRA and other gun-advocacy groups spent the day in closed-door sessions planning a response to Obama’s proposals, according to people close to the groups who spoke on condition their names not be used in describing internal deliberations.

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