A group supporting tougher gun laws protested Monday outside the headquarters of the gun industry's national trade association in Newtown, where 20 first-graders and six adults were killed at a school more than a year ago.
The Newtown Action Alliance said it's protesting the gun industry's record of selling assault rifles used in mass shootings while opposing efforts to prevent gun violence.
"Shame on you," said Kate Myer, a resident of Newtown. "Shame on your investors, your manufactures and your consumer base for choosing to profit from our collective grief and choosing to wreak even more mayhem on an unassuming and naive public."
The rally comes a day before the National Shooting Sports Foundation's annual trade show and conference opens in Las Vegas. The foundation represents more than 9,500 federally licensed firearms manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
The NSSF released a statement saying its members do not sell assault weapons to the American public and that calling semiautomatic rifles that resemble, but are not military firearms, is purposely misleading and intended to confuse the public.
It also said "We all abhor the criminal misuse of firearms. We understand that emotions run strong. But it is important to keep in mind that the Department of Justice and the Pew Research Center have both documented a dramatic 30-year downward trend in the use of firearms in violent crime, even as our nation's population and the number of guns owned by Americans has risen significantly."
The foundation says the alliance's characterization of the gun industry is wrong, and the foundation is committed to improving public safety.
Copyright 2014 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.