Gun makers back Pryor in new radio ad


WASHINGTON – Gun and ammunition makers have launched a radio advertising campaign in Arkansas supporting Sen. Mark Pryor and his vote against gun safety reforms that fellow Democrats proposed in the wake of the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The advertisement, sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, defends Pryor against criticism fired off last month by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s gun control group.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns spent $350,000 on a television advertising campaign in Arkansas that expressed “disappointment” with Pryor for opposing a bill to expand background checks on gun sales.

NSSF, a trade association for firearm and ammunition manufacturers, said that the bill would not have prevented the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and praised Pryor for standing up for the 1,100 Arkansans who work in the industry.

“While big money, out-of-state special interests are attacking Sen. Pryor, it is important he knows that the law-abiding gun owners, firearms retailers and manufacturers of Arkansas have his back,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel.

NSSF is headquarter in Newtown, Conn.

Pryor may meet later this week with Connecticut families lobbying this week on Capitol Hill for tougher gun safety legislation on the six-month anniversary of the Newtown shootings. Twenty children and six staff members at the elementary school were killed during a five-minute shooting spree in December. The families also want more federal resources focused on mental health issues, which Pryor said he also supports.

Pryor announced in March that he would run for a third six-year term in 2014. No Republican has announced to run for Pryor’s seat next year, though U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Dardanelle, is seen as a likely candidate to challenge the incumbent.