New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is getting in on local politics with two multimillion dollar commercials in 13 states including Arkansas. It’s targeting Democrat senators in red states on gun control issues.
It shows a bearded hunter sitting in the back of his truck talking about gun rights and gun owner responsibility.
The two 30 second ads cost Bloomberg $12 million. It’s a softer message encouraging background checks while also acknowledging gun rights.
Asa Hutchinson, who heads the NRA’s National School Shield Program, said the ads attack the NRA.
“It’s a very appeal-able message that he has and he has an agenda there,” Hutchinson said. “It’s just that he is not laying out that entire agenda when he presents the ad.”
Hutchinson said the ad wants to influence voters and legislators. Hutchison said what Bloomberg isn’t saying is what he really wants to see in gun control expansion.
“They are going to say, let’s have more comprehensive background checks, then let’s restrict the kinds of firearms that are owned, and then let’s restrict the type of ammunition that is owned,” Hutchinson said.
Brandon Maxey, Washington County Democrats secretary, said the ad is directed at Democrat Senator Mark Pryor.
“Any time you have a hot button issue like guns you’re going to have folks from out of state come in and try to influence things here in Arkansas,” Maxey said.
Senator Mark Pryor released a statement regarding the ads, “I don’t take gun advice from the mayor of New York City. I listen to Arkansans.”
Maxey said he believes it’s a conversation both sides should engage in.
“That’s fine, it’s freedom of speech but I have full faith that Senator Pryor is going to consider Arkansas above everybody else,” Maxey said.