Group looks to give away assault-style rifle - CBS 5 - KPHO

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Group looks to give away assault-style rifle

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NEWTOWN, CT (WFSB) -

A gun activist group founded by former Rep. Ron Paul has been trying to give away an assault-style rifle.

It's part of a campaign to empower people to know their rights when it comes to firearms; however, giving away a weapon similar to the one used in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was not sitting well with some people in Newtown.

They said they were speechless while others said to stop blaming the guns.

The Campaign for Liberty sent out a mass email asking people to sign up to win a free AR-15.

On its website, it wrote, "Each and every one of us has a God-given right - and duty - to defend freedom. That's why C4L is giving away a brand new Daniel Defense DDM4 AR-15."

"I'm trying to be neutral about this," said Lisa Reda, of Bethlehem. "But I just don't see the need for that."

State police said Adam Lanza used an AR-15 when he shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. Twenty children and six educators were gunned down within seconds.

Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra said she was surprised Paul was behind the campaign.

"Activities such as this gun giveaway send a wrong message about how reasonable adults should work through differences in perspectives on very important social issues," she said in a statement. "I think this sort of thing panders to the lowest common denominator in the cultural/political divide about the role of guns in our society."

Llodra said she was equally surprised when a security glass company down south used pictures of the Sandy Hook crime scene for an advertisement not too long after the shooting.

Some people told Eyewitness News that there needed to be more thought about how memories of that day could impact others.

"The fact that it's that weapon in particular really points to a politically motivated agenda, and I think it's sick and irresponsible," said Aaron Fagan, of Monroe.

Gun rights activist Ed Peruta with CT Carry Inc. said the focus needed to be on people, not guns.

"There are five categories of gun owners," Peruta said. "There are hunters, marksmen, collectors, people defending themselves and criminals. I doubt very seriously they are going to award a gun to a criminal."

"They should just leave the guns alone and get a hold of the nuts," said Gino Sullo, of Newtown. "Get the nuts off the streets and keep the guns away from the nuts. That's all."

In Connecticut, even if a resident signed up and won the assault-style rifle, it is not legal under a state law that went into effect a year ago.

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