The National Rifle Association released its first statement in response to the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
"The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters – and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown," the statement, released Tuesday, said. "Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting."
Since the massacre a number of legislators including two Senate Democrats with "A" ratings from the NRA have called for strengthening existing gun laws. One of the "A" rated Democrats, Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), said Monday that the NRA needed to be at the table in discussions on new gun legislation. Manchin also said he would talk with members of the NRA as he pushed new gun laws.
"The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again," Manchin said.
The organization said it planned to hold a "major news conference" in Washington, D.C., on Friday. The statement did not provide any other details about the conference.