The NRA targeted a pair of New York City lawmakers with a threatening graphic for their support of legislation that would limit the sale of ammunition — just days ahead of the five-year anniversary of the shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
State Sen. Roxanne Persaud and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, both Democrats from Brooklyn, announced legislation two weeks ago that would strictly limit the amount of bullets any gun owner could buy over a 90-day period and prohibit gun dealers from selling ammunition to anyone prohibited from owning a firearm.
In response, the NRA publication “America’s 1st Freedom” tweeted an image Monday that showed photos of each lawmaker’s face taped to a board, as if for target practice, and surrounded by several bullets, reported the New York Daily News.
— Americas1stFreedom (@NRAA1F) January 4, 2016
Persaud and Simon, as well as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, condemned the image as a veiled threat that had “the potential to cause harm.”
“I think it is irresponsible in the times that we are living in to place a target around someone,” Persaud told the Daily News. “By placing someone’s picture with bullets next to them, you are playing on the fears of people.”
Simon said she saw the graphic as an attempt to incite NRA supporters and intimidate lawmakers who back gun control measures.
Both lawmakers said they had received threatening messages since proposing the legislation on Dec. 20.
“They are clearly trying to be intimidating and it is not working,” Simon said.
The publication’s editor said he considered the proposed legislation a joke that he must “unfortunately” take seriously.
The NRA publication’s graphic calls to mind a similar image shared by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on her Facebook page placing Giffords and 19 other congressional lawmakers on a “hit list” for their support of measures aimed at reducing gun violence.
Giffords was seriously wounded Jan. 8, 2011, by a mentally ill gunman who killed six people at a public event in Tucson, Arizona.