Gun sales spike as NRA breaks silence

Protesters marching with the social activist group CREDO along with other concerned citizens descend on the offices of the NRA's (National Rifle Association) Capitol Hill lobbiest's office demanding the pro-gun lobby stand down in reaction to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School December 17, 2012, in Washington, DC.
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(CBS News) Gun sales spiked in the days after the Dec. 14 massacre in Newtown, Conn., but one of Washington's most powerful lobbying groups, the NRA, remained strikingly silent.

The NRA said nothing for four days -- no statement, Facebook or Twitter post, or website updates -- but it broke its silence on Tuesday, saying the organization was "shocked, saddened, and heartbroken" about the murders and had refrained form commenting out of respect for the families in Newtown.

And as Washington calls for action to prevent future gun violence, the NRA issued a statement saying it it prepared to make "meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."

Senate minority leader, Mitch McConell said Tuesday, "Congress will examine whether there is an appropriate and constitutional response that will better protect our citizens." And, the White House has said that President Obama is ready to actively support a renewal on the assault weapons ban, as well as new measures.

CBS News senior correspondent, John Miller said the NRA has historically spoken out after a tragic shooting incident and explained, "Mostly they come and say we 'We need to do a better job of enforcing existing laws, not new laws.' And that means things like more names from people who have been adjudicated mentally defective to be added to the database of prohibited people."

Miller also touched on the spike in gun sales following the shooting rampage in Connecticut.

"Saturday may turn out to be -- we we don't  have the numbers in yet -- the third biggest day for gun sales in US history. It could land in between 120,000 and 130,000 guns sold that day, the day after this massacre," he said.

Typically, there is a seasonal "Christmas holiday rush" on gun sales, but Miller added that "whenever there is talk of new gun control, that always spurs sales."