The National Rifle Association will launch a print advertising campaign targeting mostly Democratic senators up for re-election in 2014, according to sources close to the group.
On Thursday, full-page ads are scheduled to run in local newspapers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, North Carolina and West Virginia. They will be supplemented by digital advertising in these states and 10 others, including Alaska, Colorado, Montana, New Hampshire and South Dakota.
Additionally, the group has scheduled full-page ads to run Feb. 25 in regional editions of USA Today, reaching parts of 15 states.
The campaign is estimated to cost north of $375,000, sources said. The NRA's newspaper ads will run in three states with Democratic incumbents up in 2014: Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina. In West Virginia, Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller is retiring, but the race to replace him is competitive.
The NRA's newspaper campaign will run in one state with a GOP incumbent, Maine Sen. Susan Collins.
Local newspapers in smaller states remain an effective way to reach voters. The advertisements are part of a broader NRA advocacy campaign highlighting an internal Justice Department memorandum that the organization claims proves President Barack Obama’s gun control proposals will not reduce gun violence.
The NRA made its case on the matter in a Web video advertisement that it released the same night as the State of the Union address.