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Gun Groups Reschedule ‘Guns Save Lives Day’ Originally Planned For Newtown Shooting Anniversary

Following Public Outrage, National Gun Rights Day To Be Held Dec. 15
A handwritten sign reads 'Pray for Newtown' following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School December 15, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A handwritten sign reads ‘Pray for Newtown’ following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School December 15, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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Tragedy In Newtown

NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Gun rights groups have responded to public criticism by rescheduling a national “Guns Saves Lives Day” that was originally planned for the one-year anniversary of the Newtown school massacre.

The groups now say they’ll hold the event Dec. 15, the day after the anniversary of one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. It’s being organized by the Second Amendment Foundation, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, DefendGunRights.com and other organizations.

Before the groups moved the event, members of the Newtown community blasted it as offensive and disrespectful.

“Everything we plan on doing is all rooted in love for our kids and for each other,” Dave Eckert with the group Newtown Action Alliance told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau. “Everybody’s going to handle it and mourn and remember in their own way. But the vast majority of people in the country, I’m confident, will be doing it in a way that honors the memory that is rooted in love for people,” and not for the love of guns.

Organizers note that the day after the anniversary is national Bill of Rights Day. They say events in all 50 states will counter expected activism by gun control advocates on the anniversary.

Alan Gottlieb of the Bellevue, Wash.-based Second Amendment Foundation says day is about defending the right to bear arms.

Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 first graders and six educators in the Newtown rampage before turning a gun on himself as first responders closed in.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)