NRA tweets 'intimidating image' of bullets next to politicians who supported gun control

The move comes amid a national debate about gun control in the US 

The National Rifle Association, one of the most powerful and wealthist lobbying groups in the country, is at the centre of fresh controversy after tweeting a picture of two New York politicians who have supported greater gun control alongside an image of bullets.

America’s 1st Freedom, an National Rifle Association (NRA) publication, tweeted the image of state Senator Roxanne Persaud and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, both Democrats. Several weeks ago they announced legislation aimed at controlling the sale of ammunition.

“Sounding off on one of the most ridiculous anti-gun schemes introduced in some time,” said the tweet, showing the image of the bullets and the two politicians.

The two New Yorkers, along with other supporters that included the city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, claimed the tweet was a veiled threat to the politicians, who had supported tighter controls.

Ms Persaud told the New York Daily News: “I think it is irresponsible in the times that we are living in to place a target around someone.” 

She added: “By placing someone’s picture with bullets next to them you are playing on the fears of people.”

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Ms Simon said the tweet was an attempt by the NRA to intimate her and stir up its base.

“They are clearly trying to be intimidating and it is not working,” she said.

The NRA last month announced its opposition in a blog post to a bill the the politicians had introduced that limiting ammunition purchases over a 90-day period.

“In truth, such legislation should simply be laughed off and quickly forgotten,” America’s 1st Freedom editor Mark Chesnut wrote.

“Unfortunately, the anti-gun climate in New York requires that we all take it seriously. New York gun owners should make sure their representatives know how strongly they oppose this ridiculous assault on their rights.”

Mr de Blasio said the image was “graphic and obnoxious”. He added: “Knock it off.” The NRA has not yet commented on the tweet, which comes as President Barack Obama is poised to introduce a series of executive actions to restrict access to guns.

The NRA has not commented on the tweet, which comes as President Barack Obama is set to introduce executive orders to tighten the regulations surrounding gun sales.

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