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NRA Issues Statement On Newtown School Shooting

The organization, which held its annual convention in St. Louis this year, plans a "major" news conference Friday in Washington, D.C.

The national conversation taking place in the wake of the Newtown, CT school shootings Friday has thus far not included the advocacy group for gun rights, the National Rifle Association.

That changed Tuesday afternoon with a statement sent to reporters around the country:

"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.

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 is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."

The NRA held its annual meeting in St. Louis earlier this year, and former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt has been on the organization's board of directors.

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