In the minutes and hours immediately following the Sutherland Springs, Texas, church shooting that has left more than 27 dead, NRA-endorsed Republicans are being roundly criticized for offering "thoughts and prayers" in lieu of legal or preventative measures for mass shootings.

Social media responses were swift in condemning not only the actions of the currently unknown gunman, but also that of the lawmakers they see as "doing nothing" on matters such as gun control. Responses from celebrities and fellow lawmakers immediately criticized politicians such as GOP Sens. Rob Portman and Bill Cassidy -- both of whom have been previously endorsed by the National Rifle Association. Both senators have an "A" rating with the NRA.

Even the House GOP's Twitter account offering their own "prayers" was met with thousands of angry responses blaming their inaction.  Screen Shot 2017-11-05 at 5 Twitter responses to House GOP. Photo: Screenshot: Twitter

Among those sending “thoughts and prayers” are some of the most prominent state and national Republican leaders who have previously been endorsed outright by the NRA in the past. They have the strongest opposition to background checks or gun control issues such as regulating "bump stocks," which were used by last month's Las Vegas shooter.  House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, were among those taking the heat via Twitter and through several Democratic lawmakers.

Immediately, responses demanded "action" rather than "prayers." McConnell currently holds an "A+ rating" from the National Rifle Association for his role in voting against banning high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets and for loosening background checks at gun shows. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's statement offering "thoughts and prayers was also roundly criticized on Twitter for what many see as "doing nothing" in response to the country's latest mass shooting. According to Open Secrets, Sen. Ted Cruz is currently the top recipient of campaign money from gun rights groups in the U.S. Congress.

"While the details of this horrific act are still under investigation, Cecilia and I want to send our sincerest thoughts and prayers to all those who have been affected by this evil act," said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in a statement.

The gunman, who police say is now dead, opened fire at the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church around 11:30 Sunday morning. Wilson County Commissioner Albert Gamez Jr. estimates that at least 27 people were killed, which is roughly half of the congregation of the 11 a.m. service. Witnesses say one of the victims is a 2-year-old child.

At least 27 people are feared dead after authorities in Texas say a gunman opened fire at a church outside San Antonio on Sunday.

The mass shooting was reported at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, about 30 miles southeast of San Antonio. The gunman has been fatally shot by police, several news outlets reported. Wilson County Commissioner Larry Wiley told news outlets that an emergency responder said between 20 and 24 people are dead, and around 20 were wounded when a man walked into the church about 11:30 a.m. on Sunday and opened fire at the crowd of people.