In the aftermath of the fatal shooting of Philando Castile during a July 6 traffic stop, the National Rifle Association voiced its support for those who legally carry guns.
"As the nation's largest and oldest civil rights organization, the NRA proudly supports the right of law-abiding Americans to carry firearms for defense of themselves and others regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation," reads a July 8 statement on the NRA Facebook.
Police pulled over Castile, who was legally carrying a firearm, for having a broken tail light. Moments later, he was dead.
"He let the officer know that he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him in his arm," recounted Castile's fiancée, Diamond Reynolds, who was riding in the car along with her young daughter, according to CNN.
Reynolds livestreamed a video of the shooting's aftermath on Facebook.
The NRA promised in the statement on Facebook that they "will have more to say" once all information is released.
"The reports from Minnesota are troubling and must be thoroughly investigated," the statement says. "In the meantime, it is important for the NRA not to comment while the investigation is ongoing."
Another leading gun rights group, the Second Amendment Foundation, also expressed the need for an investigation into Castile's death.
"Wednesday night’s shooting of Philando Castile is very troubling, especially to the firearms community, because he was a legally-armed private citizen who may have done nothing more than reach for his identification and carry permit," said SAF founder and vice president Alan Gottlieb, in a statement released on the group's official website. "We have received calls of alarm today from many of our members across the country. They are justifiably concerned that a law-abiding citizen may have been wrongfully killed."
Gottlieb added that, regardless of the "racial overtones" surrounding Castile's death, "America's 13 million citizens" authorized to carry firearms deserve the truth.
"The concerns of our members, and honest gun owners everywhere, go even deeper," explained Gottlieb. "Exercising our right to bear arms should not translate to a death sentence over something so trivial as a traffic stop for a broken tail light, and we are going to watch this case with a magnifying glass."