The image, published in an editorial in America's 1st Freedom
, shows photos of New York state Sen. Roxanne Persaud and Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon with four bullets beside them.
focuses on a proposal by the New York lawmakers, both Democrats, to limit the sale of ammunition to gun owners.
Persaud called the image "outrageous" and said it contains "subliminal messages of violence."
"If the NRA is so interested in our process, they should reach out to us," Persaud told CNN.
"We have an issue of rising gun violence and stockpiling ammunition, so that's my focus right now -- not the national agenda of the NRA."
Simon said the photo was "clearly" intended to be "threatening and intimidating."
The NRA has not responded to CNN's request for comment.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted a response Monday, saying "Knock it off, @NRAA1F. Your graphic is obnoxious and suggestive. I stand with @joannesimonbk52 & @senatorpersaud."
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer responded Tuesday, "The NRA is putting the lives of elected officials at risk by posting their snapshots surrounded by real bullets."
"The Justice Department should immediately investigate these scare tactics that threaten our democracy."
The proposal in question, announced in a press release on December 20
by the two lawmakers and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, aims to cap the amount of ammunition an individual can purchase over 90 days at "no more than twice the amount of the capacity of the weapon."
"If I have a cold I can't buy Sudafed without ID, but I can walk into any gun shop and walk out with enough bullets to arm a small army without showing any kind of ID," Simon said in the release.
"The San Bernardino
shooters had 6,000 rounds of ammunition. We need this legislation so that cannot happen here."
The proposal would also amend New York state penal law to prevent gun dealers from selling ammunition for a particular firearm to anyone unauthorized to carry that weapon.
"(U)nder the current code, only pistols and revolvers are specifically regulated, creating a loophole for those seeking to purchase ammunition for assault weapons," according to the release.
Mark Chestnut, editor of America's 1st Freedom, called the proposal "ridiculous," saying it does nothing to address crime.
"How many criminals will really follow such an asinine law -- or any ammo law, for that matter?" Chestnut asked in the editorial.
Persaud added that the proposal is still under review.
The controversy came as President Barack Obama unveiled new gun control measures
on Tuesday, including a new requirement that would expand background checks for buyers.