11 Newtown Families Distance Selves from Sandy Hook Promise Group

Tim McGraw announced his plans for "A Concert for Sandy Hook Promise" last week

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AP

The families of 11 people killed in the Newtown shooting rampage in 2012 are making it known that they have no association with a gun control group behind a Tim McGraw concert this summer.

The July 17 concert in Hartford, Connecticut, is benefiting Sandy Hook Promise, an advocacy group that involves several victims' families and is at times wrongly assumed to speak for all 26 victims' families.

The 11 families said in a statement issued on Wednesday that they decided to clarify the issue for donors who might believe they are directly supporting the victims' families. They said their statement isn't related to a position on the gun debate or other issues surrounding the tragedy.

The country singer announced his plans for "A Concert for Sandy Hook Promise" last week. His connection to the organization is through his touring band fiddle player, Dean Brown, who is also a longtime friend of Mark Barden, a musician and father of one of the children who was killed in the tragedy.

After announcing the concert, critics surfaced, calling McGraw a hypocrite and the show a "gun control fundraiser."

McGraw then defended himself, releasing a statement to the Washington Post, saying he supports gun ownership, but it requires education and safety.

A gunman killed 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012.

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