The 1994 weapons ban targeting military style weapons was gone 10 years later, when Congress let it expire in the administration of President George W. Bush -- an outcome sought by the NRA.
Keene and other NRA officials argue the ban failed to reduce gun violence because it targeted firearms used in only a fraction of the nation's gun violence. They also contend the government isn't properly enforcing the background checks created by Brady Bill, making an expansion illogical.
"We are not willing to support measures we feel unduly burden innocent and law-abiding Americans, and on the other side do not have any real impact on the problem we're trying to solve," Keene said.
To Erickson Hatalsky, the goal is to get laws on the books that make it harder for criminals, terrorists and the mentally ill to obtain guns -- either through private sales or from traffickers through straw purchases.
Minor exceptions would apply to family members giving guns to each other, or people borrowing guns on a hunting ground, she said.
"How are they going to stop somebody who's a gun trafficker if there's no federal law against that now," she wondered.
Limits on magazine rounds
A tougher issue involves proposed limits on ammunition magazines to 10 rounds, she said. Larger capacity magazines allow semi-automatic weapons to fire dozens of rounds in seconds.
At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun control last week, Mark Kelly argued that the proposed limit could have prevented the death of a young girl in the Tucson, Arizona, attack that seriously wounded his wife -- former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
According to Kelly, the 13th shot fired killed 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, and the shooter got tackled when trying to reload. With a 10-round limit, Green might still be alive, he said.
The NRA and its supporters say larger-capacity magazines are popular, with millions already in the possession of American gun owners who want them to feel secure against criminals armed with similar firepower.
They also contend citizens have the right to such weaponry to protect against future government tyranny, which they say was the intent of the Second Amendment's right to bear arms.
Erickson Hatalsky rejected any inference by the NRA or its supporters that Obama's proposals or other measures being discussed in Congress amount to taking away people's guns.
She praised the president's strategy of presenting a broad package for Congress to consider, saying: "It behooves people who are working on this issue to keep the NRA arguing about lots of different issues, rather than allowing it to concentrate on one and defeat it."