By Alicia M. Cohn - 12/18/12 10:16 PM EST
The organization had quickly become a target for outrage and a "Shame on the NRA" protest march held in Washington, D.C. on Monday.
Twenty children were murdered on Friday by a gunman, Adam Lanza, at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooting has prompted renewed calls by policy-makers for action on gun violence, and high expectations that the NRA will influence the debate. The NRA is a powerful lobby primarily focused on protecting Second Amendment rights to bear arms.
On Tuesday, the NRA released their first statement since the violence.
"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," it read. "The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."
The NRA announced a "major" press conference scheduled for Friday, and also pushed that announcement through Twitter and Facebook. The organization's Facebook page has been updated with a prominent cover banner announcing the event.
Thousands of initial comments on the NRA Facebook page, responding within the first 30 minutes of the announcement, appear to be supportive of the organization, which has about 1.7 million "likes" on the social network. Facebook comments can be moderated.