SANTA CLARITA ( — A U.S. Congressional candidate sent robocalls to voters in a portion of Los Angeles County touting an endorsement from the National Rifle Association just hours after the deadly shootings in Isla Vista, according to reports.

The recorded messages, sent Saturday by the campaign for Congressional candidate Tony Strickland, came after three people were gunned down and three others stabbed near the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) campus.

Strickland campaign spokesman Evan Handy said the robocalls had been pre-scheduled and went out Saturday morning “to a small universe of Second Amendment supporters”.

“We are incredibly saddened by what happened last Friday evening,” said Strickland in a statement.

The audio recording – which was first reported at – features an announcer touting Strickland’s “lifetime `A’ rating from the NRA.”

“Tony has been a longtime supporter of the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms and will continue to oppose, and actively fight, any legislation that would take away our Second Amendment right to bear arms,” the audio recording stated.

Many of the six victims killed in Isla Vista may have likely been former constituents of Strickland, who represented Santa Barbara and Isla Vista in the State Senate until late 2012, reported.

As far as fundraising, Strickland is surging ahead of several other fellow Republicans in the race to replace retiring Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon in the current primary election, which is open for mail-in ballots now and will conclude with the primary election booths open on June 3.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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