Biden took issue with the figure and attacked Heston, according to the Los Angeles Times: “I do not know how many of you hire your cops back home for $70,000 a year. I guess he is just used to being in Hollywood, where they pay a lot of money for those things.”
Eventually, Biden did play some ball with the NRA, offering an amendment to the crime bill that would exempt current owners of high-capacity clips from prosecution after the ban was enacted.
The amendment was drafted by Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., a pro-gun Democrat who subsequently resigned from the NRA’s board, and the bill passed in the House — which had been the major stumbling block in the process.
Biden wasn’t done hitting the NRA, though. In 1995, when the NRA defended gun rights by referring to people’s need to protect themselves against “jack-booted government thugs,” Biden responded by saying the NRA’s rhetoric probably cost it two members for every member it gained.
In 1996, Biden criticized the NRA and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for their objections to an anti-terrorism bill that included expanded wiretaps and FBI access to financial records.
“They’re a minority, no matter how you add it up,” he said of the NRA and the ACLU, according to the Chicago Tribune.
He offered similar thoughts during a 1996 appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” going after another gun group, the Gun Owners of America, for opposing wiretaps.
“The reason is because of the militia groups. The reason is because of the Gun Owners of America. The reason is because of this mentality out there, the small group of people in America who think that the government is the enemy, it is the sworn enemy,” Biden said.
Much earlier in Biden’s tenure, some harsh words were exchanged during the crafting of another crime bill in 1984.