The National Rifle Association has started running radio ads defending Sen. Mark Pryor's vote against gun background checks, but is making no promises about supporting him in the future, The Hill reported Friday.
The NRA ads are in response to the attack ads launched against the Arkansas Democrat by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's group Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The Bloomberg organization has begun several ad campaigns of its own against key senators across the country who opposed the bipartisan gun measure that failed in the Senate in April.
According to The Hill, the NRA ads seem to defy Pryor's lukewarm support for the gun-rights group in the past. His lifetime NRA score on pro-gun legislation is a C-, and in 2004 he voted to extend the assault-weapons ban.
"We're not going to start talking about future elections until they're here," NRA spokeswoman Alexa Fritts told The Hill. "There are a lot more votes down the road as well.
"We're very appreciative right now for the vote and want his constituents to know he supported the Second Amendment on this vote, and that means a lot to us," she added.
Fritts said the ads are aimed both at defending Pryor's vote as well as taking on Bloomberg's anti-gun group.
"He and others who voted with us and the Second Amendment have been facing a lot of heat from Bloomberg and other groups, and we think that's wrong," she said. "Pryor listened to his constituents instead of bowing down to pressure from Mayor Bloomberg and out-of-state interests."
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