Today, “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” released a TV ad targeting U.S. Senator Mark Pryor for his vote against gun background checks. The group says they plan to spend $350,000 on the ad.

The ad features former Democratic Party of Arkansas staffer Angela Bradford-Barnes speaking directly to the camera and talking about the shooting death of then-Chairman Bill Gwatney. You can view the ad here.

Talk Business has more details on the television ad here.

Pryor responded with a fierce public statement slamming the ad:

“Mayor Bloomberg’s attack ad politicizes the death of my friend by misleading people into thinking that his bill would have prevented Bill Gwatney’s tragic death. The fact is it wouldn’t have, which makes Mayor Bloomberg’s ad even more disgusting.”

I’ve written previously on how Pryor being opposed by a gun control group headed up by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg may be the best thing politically for Mark Pryor.

Today’s ad is a political softball for Mark Pryor, allowing him to hit it out of the park and show that he’s standing up to out-of-state interests who just don’t understand our hunting and fishing culture.

Previously, Pryor has been treading water over his vote against the Manchin-Toomey background check bill. He received no credit from Second Amendment supporters (meaning almost all of Arkansas) for voting against background checks and supporters of background checks are livid with his vote.

But the airing of this ad gives Pryor a clear target – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other out-of-state interests that Pryor can easily paint as out-of-touch with Arkansas and anti-gun.

More from Pryor taking aim at Bloomberg:

“New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg didn’t know Bill Gwatney. I knew Bill Gwatney. He was my friend and he was killed by someone with severe mental health issues. The Mayor’s bill would have done nothing to prevent his death because it fails to adequately address the real issue and common thread in all of these shootings — mental health.”

It’s too early to tell if Bloomberg’s ad backfires, but it clearly got Mark Pryor riled up and allows the Senator to make the case he’s fighting for gun rights and sensible legislation on the issue of gun ownership.

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Michael Cook is the moderator for his opinion blog, Cook's Outlook. He can be reached by e-mail at Michael@CooksOutlook.com. Follow him on Twitter: @mcookAR or on Facebook: facebook.com/CooksOutlook.