Nationwide gun control ad blitz hits Arkansas, faces opposition
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - A multimillion dollar pro-gun control advertising blitz is set to hit Arkansas, but not without opposition.
The $12 million campaign is funded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has yet to make a fan of the Arkansas senator in his crosshairs.
Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns organization features only four Arkansas mayors. One of those mayors is McKinzie Riley in Wrightsville.
When a Wrightsville man was shot to death in December 2011 Mayor Riley said he had to do something.
"If you have one murder, that's one too many," he said.
The latest ad from Mayors Against Illegal Guns will air in thirteen states including Arkansas. It features a bearded man holding a shotgun and calling for comprehensive background checks prior to purchasing a gun.
Riley supports tougher background checks promoted in the ad and wants to close the so called "gun show loophole."
"If a person can come in with a gun show and sell guns at a cheaper rate and sell whatever they want to sell, that's a problem," said Riley.
Senator Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas), already fundraising early because of conservative attacks, is seen as one of Bloomberg's targets for persuasion with the ad.
Pryor is seen as a moderate Democrat, up for re-election in 2014, who has not recently addressed the issue of gun control.
Bloomberg's group said the thirteen states chosen are where the gun control debate is most divided.
Pryor put out a statement Monday that reads, "I don't take gun advice from Mayor or New York City. I listen to Arkansas."
"You're problem out there is with your criminals and your crazies," said Don Hill at Don's Weaponry in North Little Rock. "A criminal could care less about laws."
Some Arkansans, like Hill, worry people are already lying on the current paperwork to get a gun, and that the cash-strapped government can't even enforce the laws on the books now.
"There's supposed to be a 10-year sentence if they lie on a 4473 [Form], but the government doesn't do anything about it," said Hill. "So what makes you think they have enough money to do about anything else?"
The ad, called "Responsible," is to start airing tomorrow on stations in the 13 states, including on KATV.