But three months later, the NRA has regained its footing, rallying gun owners and lawmakers against new gun controls in a fierce lobbying effort that appears to be paying dividends on Capitol Hill.

Indeed, over the last 100 days, Democrats have grown more divided over Obama’s proposed reforms.

An assault weapons ban is on life support and Senate Democrats have failed to entice a single Republican to back universal background checks. Congress also this week solidified four gun-friendly laws as part of legislation to fund the government through September.

To some observers, the shift in momentum comes as no surprise at all.

“[NRA CEO] Wayne LaPierre made terrible mistakes early on. They took two very bad spills,” Ross Baker, political scientist at Rutgers University, said Friday in a phone interview. “But they quickly recovered and they assumed their usual position of dominance.