Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) issued a firm defense of his no vote on gun legislation and sought to rebut gun control advocates such as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a new 30 second campaign ad released Thursday.
Pryor, one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into next year's midterms, has drawn intense scrutiny from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the Bloomberg-led group that has emerged as the leading advocate for new gun laws. A recent ad from the group featured a friend of Bill Gwatney, who was shot and killed in 2008 while serving as chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party, in criticizing Pryor's vote. The senator called the ad "disgusting" and accused Bloomberg of politicizing the death of Gwatney, who was a friend of Pryor. In his latest ad, Pryor addressed Bloomberg – and the legislation he opposed — directly.
"The mayor of New York City is running ads against me because I opposed President Obama's gun control legislation," Pryor said in the ad. "Nothing in the Obama plan would have prevented tragedies like Newtown, Aurora, Tucson or even Jonesboro. I'm commited to finding real solutions to gun violence while protecting our Second Amendment rights."
The spot will begin airing statewide in Arkansas on Friday, the Associated Press reported. A survey released earlier this week by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling showed Pryor could benefit from voting in favor of subsequent gun legislation. Forty percent of Arkansas voters said that such a vote would make them more likely to support Pryor for re-election.