NRA strikes back at Florida sheriff: 'Your office failed this community'

NRA strikes back at Florida sheriff: 'Your office failed this community'

The National Rifle Association (NRA) on Friday slammed a local sheriff in Florida, saying his office failed to protect students in last week's high school shooting.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel had knocked the gun lobby during a televised town hall on Wednesday night, accusing the group of "not standing up for these students."

“I understand you’re standing up for the NRA and I understand that’s what you’re supposed to do,” Israel told NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch at the CNN town hall.


“But you just told this group of people that you are standing up for them. You are not standing up for them until you say, ‘I want less weapons,’ ” Israel said, prompting a standing ovation.

"No Sheriff Israel you were the one that didn’t PROTECT these children and that is your job. You run the largest fully accredited sheriff's office in the United States, yet your office failed this community," the NRA responded in a tweet Friday.

Gun activists went on the offensive this week after the NRA faced days of scrutiny following the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Supporters of the gun group seized on news Thursday from the Broward County sheriff that one of his officers stationed at the high school was on campus but failed to go in as the shooter killed 17 people and wounded more than a dozen others.

“Scot Peterson was absolutely on campus through this entire event. He was armed. He was in uniform,” Israel said at a press conference Thursday, the day after the CNN town hall event that featured the NRA spokeswoman, several elected officials and student survivors from the shooting. 

Israel said the deputy, who has since resigned, should have "went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer.” The sheriff said the fact that he didn't left him “sick to [his] stomach” and feeling “devastated.”

“There are no words,” he said.

Broward County deputies also acknowledged receiving 18 calls from 2008 to 2017 warning them about Nikolas Cruz — who has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder — including concerns that he "planned to shoot up the school." The sheriff's office has opened two internal probes into whether the calls were handled according to the department's standards.

Student survivors and others affected by the shooting in Parkland have urged Congress to pass new gun laws, with President TrumpDonald John TrumpLieu: There will be 'widespread civil unrest' if Trump fires Mueller Attorneys for Trump, Mueller hold face-to-face meeting to discuss potential interview topics: report Trump tariffs not helpful for nuclear talks, South Korea says MORE this week voicing his support for a range of policies that would put him at odds with the NRA.