The National Rifle Association on Tuesday broke its silence on last Friday's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., denouncing the "horrific and senseless murders" and vowing to "help make sure this never happens again."
Facing a fierce push for new restrictions on gun ownership in the tragedy’s aftermath, the group said it would hold "a major news conference" in Washington on Friday. It did not elaborate.
"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 organization said in a statement emailed to reporters.
"The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again," it said.
In keeping with its past practice after other mass shootings, the NRA kept quiet after the killings of 20 children and six adults at the school, plus the gunman's mother. Gun control advocates, however, have ramped up calls for new restrictions to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future. And President Barack Obama himself has called for a strong response to the massacre.
"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," the NRA said in its statement.