NRA silent after shooting of reportedly legal gun owner

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Philando Castile Shot By Police In Minneapolis

Hundreds of people are demanding the NRA respond to the death of Philando Castile, who was shot by a police officer during a traffic stop on Wednesday.

Castile's uncle, Clarence Castile, told NBC News that his nephew had a permit to carry a weapon, a claim echoed by the woman riding in Castile's car. The woman, Castile's girlfriend, said Castile told officers he was legally carrying a gun at the time of the stop and then reached for his license when he was shot.

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As the Facebook video began circulating on social media Wednesday evening, livid users began calling on the NRA—which prominently supports the rights of legal gun carriers—to make a statement in Castile's defense. Others are calling the silence on behalf of Castile, a black man, blatant racism.

See photos of the grisly shooting caught on camera and the aftermath:

13 PHOTOS
Philando Castile shot by police and livestreamed to Facebook
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Philando Castile shot by police and livestreamed to Facebook
A screenshot of the live video shot by Lavish Reynolds and posted to Facebook after police shot Philando Castile. 
A screenshot of the live video shot by Diamond Reynolds and posted to Facebook after police shot Philando Castile. 
A screenshot of the live video shot by Diamond Reynolds and posted to Facebook after police shot Philando Castile. 
Diamond Reynolds, the girlfriend of Philando Castile of St. Paul, cries outside the governor's residence in St. Paul, Minn., on Thursday, July 7, 2016. Castile was shot and killed after a traffic stop by police in Falcon Heights, Wednesday night. A video shot by Reynolds of the shooting went viral. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
A profile photo uploaded to Philando Castile's Facebook page. 
A profile photo uploaded to Philando Castile's Facebook page. 
Diamond Reynolds, the girlfriend of Philando Castile of St. Paul, is consoled Thursday, July 7, 2016 outside the governor's residence in St. Paul, Minn. Castile was shot and killed after a traffic stop by St. Anthony police in Falcon Heights, Minn. Wednesday night. A video shot by Reynolds of the shooting( went viral. AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Diamond Reynolds, the girlfriend of Philando Castile, talks about his shooting death with protesters and media outside the governor's residence on Thursday, July 7, 2016 in St. Paul, Minn. Castile was shot and killed after a traffic stop by St. Anthony police in Falcon Heights, Minn., Wednesday night. A video shot by Reynolds of the shooting went viral. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
A sign is hung outside the Minnesota Governor's Residence as about 200 people gathered in St. Paul, Thursday, July 7, 2016, protesting the fatal shooting of a man by a suburban police officer. Philando Castile was shot in a car Wednesday night in the largely middle-class St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights. Police have said the incident began when an officer initiated a traffic stop in suburban Falcon Heights but have not further explained what led to the shooting. (AP Photo/Jeff Baenen)
Diamond Reynolds, the girlfriend of Philando Castile, is consoled as she talks about his shooting death with protesters and media outside the governor's residence in St. Paul, Minn. Castile was shot and killed after a traffic stop by police in Falcon Heights, Wednesday night. A video shot by Reynolds of the shooting went viral. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
About 200 people gathered outside the Minnesota Governor's Residence in St. Paul, Thursday, July 7, 2016, protesting the fatal shooting of a man by a suburban police officer. Philando Castile was shot in a car Wednesday night in the largely middle-class St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights. Police have said the incident began when an officer initiated a traffic stop in suburban Falcon Heights but have not further explained what led to the shooting. (AP Photo/Jeff Baenen)
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"Dear @nra : Will you come to the defense of who was shot & killed by Minnesota pd while legally carrying?" someone tweeted. Another asked if the right to bear arms "only applied to whites."

Vocativ was unable to confirm through public records that Castile did in fact have a permit; The state of Minnesota prohibits public access to gun permit records, according to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit association.

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"He was trying to get out his ID in his wallet out his pocket, and he let the officer know that... he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet," said Diamond Reynolds, who live-streamed a video on Facebook showing the moments immediately after the Wednesday shooting. "And the officer just shot him in his arm," said Reynolds, who calls Castile her boyfriend.

St. Anthony Police interim police chief, Jon Mangseth, told the Associated Press he didn't know what had led to the shooting, which occurred after an officer with the department initiated a traffic stop in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

The NRA acknowledged it received Vocativ's request for comment but did not immediately respond to questions, citing protocol.

SEE ALSO: Police Shooting Sparks Protests At Minnesota Governor's Mansion

The NRA's lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action, published an article on its website in 2015 stating, "Police officers and lawfully armed citizens have been getting along just fine throughout America's history, and they will undoubtedly continue to do so." On Wednesday, the statement was criticized:

The post NRA Silent After Shooting Of Reportedly Legal Gun Owner appeared first on Vocativ.

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