Newtown's First Selectman has responded to reports that gun rights organizations are planning to use Dec. 14, 2013 as a day of support for guns.
Three gun rights organizations — the Second Amendment Foundation, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and DefendGunRights.com — announced Thursday they would sponsor the day on the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
First Selectman Pat Llodra says she respects their opinions, but asks the organizations not to use Newtown to host rallies.
"For this group to use our Sandy Hook tragedy as a springboard for political action is disrespectful to our community of Newtown and is of particularly insensitive timing," said Llodra in a statement released Friday.
"I respect their right to promote their beliefs regarding guns. I ask that they respect our community and not use us for their purposes. We will not host a political rally of any stripe on that day and we hope that all such inclined persons understand that they and their agenda are not welcome. We ask for privacy and expect that all caring folks, including the media, will accommodate us. Those persons, who choose to not accede to our request to be left alone, show the world their own moral and ethical fiber."
Gun rights groups say they're planning the campaign to counteract "what certainly will be a day of activism and misinformation from the gun prohibition lobby," according to DefendGunRights.com founder Larry Ward.
"Americans are concerned about attempts to erode their gun ownership rights, and for good reason," said Alan Gottlieb, president of the Second Amendment Foundation and chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. “Our mission with Guns Save Lives Day is to assure them our groups are working day and night to thwart government gun-grabbers at every opportunity. We are going to show America that there is a good side to guns."
The organizations have launched a website, GunsSaveLivesDay.com, and say they plan rallies in all 50 states on Dec. 14.