NRA blasted for making robocalls in Newtown

Posted at 7:12 AM, Mar 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-26 10:05:13-04

(CNN) – The National Rifle Association has “stooped to a new low” in making robocalls to residents in Newtown, the two U.S. senators from Connecticut argued in a letter to the NRA on Monday.

“We call on you to immediately stop calling the families and friends of the victims in Newtown,” the senators wrote.

Reports emerged last week of Newtown residents receiving robocalls urging them to stand against state legislative attempts to pass stricter gun laws, including a more expansive assault weapons ban and 10-round limit for magazines.

Asked for a recording of the call, the NRA declined to provide the audio but released a statement defending the calls.

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“The National Rifle Association has members, contributors, and supporters in Connecticut who expect us to do our jobs and keep them abreast of developments on the legislative front in their state,” Andrew Arulanandam, the NRA’s director of public affairs, said in a statement about the calls. “We provide the same service for our members and supporters all around the country.”

The robocalls come a little more than three months after a gunman massacred 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, in addition to shooting his mother, before killing himself.

The mass shooting has since sparked a major debate over gun control that has pitted the powerful NRA against lawmakers and gun-control advocates who want to legislate tougher firearm laws.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy addressed the letter to NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre on Monday, urging the group to remove Newtown from its call list.

“In a community that’s still very much in crisis, to be making these calls opens a wound that these families are still trying hard to heal,” the senators wrote.