The National Rifle Association used the occasion of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the federal holiday honoring the Civil Rights icon who was assassinated by a man with a sniper rifle in 1968, by pointing out that King had applied for, and was denied, a concealed carry permit in 1956.
"Today, the men and women of the @NRA honor the profound life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," the tweet from the gun organization stated. "Dr. King applied for a concealed carry permit in a 'may issue' state and was denied. We will never stop fighting for every law-abiding citizen's right to self-defense."
Many commentators responded to the NRA's tweet by pointing out that a gun couldn't have saved Dr. King's life when he was murdered years after he applied for the permit.
"Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated with a firearm legally purchased by an escaped felon with a lengthy criminal record, in an era before background checks, waiting periods, or any of the rational reforms the NRA has fought against throughout its modern history," CNN opinion writer Jeff Yang wrote in a response tweet.
Media Matters for America's Timothy Johnson similarly pointed out that King stood for gun control himself in his later years.
"The part the NRA always seems to forget: Dr. King later repudiated gun ownership, saying, 'How could I serve as one of the leaders of a nonviolent movement and at the same time use weapons of violence for my personal protection?'" Johnson wrote in his tweet.