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The National Rifle Association (NRA) has “turned the tide” on gun control efforts in Washington since the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, but the “war” is not over, the gun lobby’s outgoing president said Saturday.

Speaking to the NRA’s annual members meeting in Houston, David Keene boasted that the Senate’s defeat of background check legislation dealt Obama the “first major legislative defeat of his presidency.”

“That, my friends, is quite an accomplishment,” Keene said. “An accomplishment few of us would have predicted back in January.”

But he warned that the White House and congressional Democrats would continue to use the deaths of 20 elementary school students in the nation’s most deadly school shooting. The group’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, echoed the sentiment, describing last month’s Senate vote as “one skirmish in what can only be described a long war.”