NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre sparked controversy on Saturday when he asked, "How many Bostonians wished they had a gun two weeks ago?"
The comments came in the middle of his speech at the annual NRA members meeting in Houston, Texas.
LaPierre explained that during the Boston lockdown that took place while police were chasing the bombing suspects, "frightened citizens [were] sheltered in place with no means to defend themselves."
"Imagine living in a large metropolitan area where lawful firearms ownership is heavily regulated and discouraged. Imagine waking up to a phone call from the police, warning that a terrorist event is occurring outside and ordering you to stay inside your home."
As NBC's Kasie Hunt points out, this is the first time that the NRA has linked the Boston Marathon bombings to guns.
LaPierre then accused gun control advocates of exploiting tragedies like the Sandy Hook school shooting.
“They use tragedy to try to blame us, to shame us into compromising our freedom for their political agenda," he said. "No matter what it takes, we will never give up or compromise our constitutional freedom, not one single inch!”
Also speaking at the NRA convention were Second Vice President Allan Cors and chief lobbyist Chris Cox, who offered simliar rhetoric.
"Our gun rights are never safe," said Cors.
Here's the full transcript of LaPierre's remarks. Below is a clip from his speech.