After days of silence, the National Rifle Association has released a statement on the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn., saying it will make "meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."
In the release, the organization begins to explain its silence, saying: "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."
Critics had called out the group in the days following the shooting: As citizens and legislators began to fall on either side of a debate about what, if at all, should be done about gun laws, many wondered why the group was absent from the conversation.
Like many Americans, Patch readers have been debating the issue of gun control on our sites.
The organization announced it will hold a press conference Friday in Washington, D.C.
More details on Friday's press conference will be released when timing is deemed "appropriate," according to the statement.
The statement comes after President Barack Obama said he wanted to tighten gun laws in light of Friday's shootings.