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NBC Sports Network Will Sponsor Gun Show Despite Newtown School Shootings

An NBC Sports Network spokesman says that the network sponsors the SPOT Show as part of its "commitment to our outdoor programming block"

The NBC Sports Network is staying on target with its sponsorship of a major gun show that will take place a little more than a month after the Newtown, Conn., school shootings that left dozens, most of them children, dead.

A spokesman for NBC Sports told TheWrap on Friday that the cable outlet NBC Sports Network will continue to sponsor the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show and Conference, otherwise known as the SHOT Show. The show, a major convention for the firearms industry, will take place at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas from Jan. 15-18.

Also read: Bob Costas' Call for Gun Control Is Answered by an Angry Ted Nugent

The Newtown school shootings took place on Dec. 14.

“We’ve participated in the SHOT Show for several years," the spokesman told TheWrap in a statement, adding that its sponsorship of the show is "part of our commitment to our outdoor programming block.”

The NBC Sports Network, which was known as Versus until a little more than a year ago and had previously been known as the Outdoor Life Network, carries hunting, fishing and other outdoor programming, such as "Gun It With Benny Spies," along with traditional sports programming, according to USA Today.

Also read: Ted Nugent: Newtown School Shootings Caused by Political Correctness

The SHOT Show, which is not open to the public, is not just a trade show but "a powerful display of industry unity and its resolve to meet any challenge affecting the right to make, sell and own firearms," according to the show's website.

The show is held by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) which, eerily enough, is based in Newtown.

The organization was in attendance Thursday at a White House meeting of Vice President Joe Biden's task force on firearms.

Since the Newtown school shootings, the topic of gun control has been very much at the forefront of national debate, with some groups calling for tighter restriction, and the National Rifle Association choosing to focus on media violence and mental illness as possible causes of gun-related violence.

Among those urging tighter restrictions is longtime NBC on-air personality Bob Costas, who called for stricter gun control during a December airing of "Sunday Night Football."

Speaking shortly after Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend before driving to the Chiefs' practice complex before taking his own life, Costas cited a column by Fox Sports' Jason Whitlock in his call for gun control.

"In the coming days, Jovan Belcher's actions and their possible connection to football will be analyzed. Who knows?" Costas said. "But here, wrote Jason Whitlock, is what I believe. If Jovan Belcher didn't possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today."