Newtown families upset over NRA robo calls - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Newtown families upset over NRA robo calls

NEWTOWN, CT (WFSB) -

A little more than three months after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a series of robo calls hoping to pressure politicians from passing anti-gun legislation is causing outrage.

While state lawmakers are trying to come up with a comprehensive bill aimed at reducing gun violence and improving safety, the National Rifle Association is calling homes and calling on voters to pressure local leaders into rejecting any new gun control laws.

"Calling from 703-267-1200 with an urgent legislative alert. Your state senator, Art Linares, will play a key role in determining whether the CT General Assembly will pass legislation restricting your gun rights," the call said.

David Freedman, who is a father in Newtown, told Eyewitness News that he received one of the calls last Wednesday.

"Respectfully urge him to oppose any legislation that tramples your Second Amendment right, and inhibits your inherent right to self-defense," the call continued.

For a town touched by tragedy, some feel it's still too raw, calling the calls callous and inappropriate.

"It's not the right thing for the NRA to be doing right now," Freedman said.

On the Newtown Action Alliance Facebook page, one man asked that his name and phone number be removed from the list, but he's still getting the calls.

"The message was bad and in poor taste because of what we had to go through," Freedman said.

The NRA is allowed to make these robo calls because it is a nonprofit.

In addition to the pre-recorded calls, the organization is also sending out postcards with similar messages. The calls and postcards come as Connecticut lawmakers continue to take up gun control.

"I think it's disgusting and I think it's intentional," U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy said. "I don't think it's a mistake that the NRA is making calls into Newtown."

The push from the NRA is timed just as local lawmakers are crafting numerous gun reform laws that could make our state one of the toughest on weapons. Lawmakers are now seeing these calls as another element to fight in this battle.

"We will be matching their effort here in Connecticut and with allies throughout the country," said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

Blumenthal and Murphy held a press conference Monday to move a federal assault weapons ban forward.

"We will not surrendering or abandoning this effort, far from it," Blumenthal said. "We are re-doubling the fight."

The legislation being proposed by Murphy and Blumenthal includes background checks on all gun sales, a ban on certain assault style weapons, and to prohibit the sale of high capacity magazines. It would also crack down on illegal gun trafficking.

Last week, the Public Safety and Security Committee passed a bill that would require criminal background checks for all private firearm sales. Now it will go to the General Assembly for a full vote.

Murphy said Connecticut must lead the way.

"Connecticut needs to pass a strong ban to set an example for the rest of the nation," he said. "But also make sure that we don't become a haven for sellers of high-capacity ammunition."

Murphy and Blumenthal are pushing to have a Senate vote by early April.

Eyewitness News reached out to the NRA for comment on the robo calls and is still waiting to hear back. Blumenthal and Murphy told Eyewitness News that they just plan to run more anti-gun spots.

Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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