Comedian and former "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno canceled a performance at the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT) that is going to be staged by the National Shooting Sports Foundation at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas in January.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, which is located in Newtown, opposed a nationwide background check bill in 2013 that was in response to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Dec. 2012.
"I understand it's Newtown, and of course I get it," Leno told Mother Jones. "It's just sometimes, mistakes get made."
The Campaign to Unload, Newtown Action Alliance and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence posted a petition online to dissuade Leno from appearing at the SHOT event. Moms Demand Action also called for Leno to cancel his appearance.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation said in a statement on its website:
We are clearly disappointed by Jay Leno's decision not to perform at the 2015 SHOT Show State of the Industry Dinner. He unilaterally cancelled his promised appearance due to pressure from the anti-gun lobby, which included false statements about our industry and its commitment to genuine firearms safety, which we attempted to personally correct with him, but to no avail.
However, Shannon Watts founder of the gun safety group Moms Demand Action responded positively in her statement:
Moms applaud Jay Leno’s decision to cancel his National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) event appearance after hearing directly from Moms and other gun violence prevention supporters on social media. The NSSF opposes common-sense gun safety measures like background checks on all gun sales... Moms across the country are thanking Jay for making the right decision.