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In North Carolina, gun ads coincide with rallies

The Mayors Against Illegal Guns group released the two television ads expected to hit North Carolina in the next two weeks as it ramps up the effort to require more comprehensive background checks for gun buyers.

Both ads -- "Responsible" and "Family" -- feature a bearded man in a hunting camouflage hat sitting on a pickup truck tailgate holding a gun while his family plays in the background. The man says he supports the Second Amendment but also background checks to keep criminals and the "dangerously mentally ill" can't purchase a gun. (One ad above and the other below.)

Local mayors appear in video to boost gun control effort

A national mayors group is trying to keep the pressure on Congress to take action on gun laws following the Newtown school shootings with a new public service announcement.

The 1:26 minute video features Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and Durham Mayor Bill Bell. The two get small cameos in the spot. "No more makeshift memorials," Kleinschmidt says in the quick-cut piece. "Demand action," Bell adds later in the spot.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the producer of the spot, said it represents a shift in the group's campaign for tougher gun laws as it asks Congress to take action to pass legislation requiring background checks in all gun sales, limit high-capacity ammunition magazines and toughen penalties for gun trafficking.

Kleinschmidt is Obama guest for carrier game

First an easy re-election, and now this.

Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, who won a second term Tuesday, was invited by President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama to the basketball game tonight between the Tar Heels and Michigan State on the USS Carl Vinson.

Kleinschmidt, who attended UNC-Chapel Hill,  tweeted yesterday evening he was on his way to San Diego. He'll be among more than 7,000 fans watching the game on the Navy aircraft carrier.

Cunningham endorsed by Chapel Hill mayor

Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt has endorsed Cal Cunningham in the Democratic Senate primary.

"I proudly support Cal because he has the best plan to create jobs and restore our economy in North Carolina, and I encourage all my fellow Chapel Hill residents to vote for him," Kleinschmidt said in a statement.

In getting the endorsement of Kleinschmidt, Cunningham, a former state senator from Lexington, is dipping into the liberal base of Chapel Hill lawyer Ken Lewis.

Kleinschmidt has served on the boards of the North Carolina American Civil Liberties Union, the International Network of Lesbian and Gay Officials and Equality NC.

State ACLU has new president

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina has a new leader.

Durham attorney Carlos Mahoney was elected as president of the legal advocacy group's state board, according to a media release issued Tuesday. He replaces Mark Kleinschmidt, whose term as president ended in June, Michael Biesecker reports.

Mahoney, a partner at the Durham law firm Glenn, Mills, Fisher & Mahoney, has been a member of the ACLU board since 2005

A graduate of UNC Chapel Hill's School of Law, Mahoney has served as vice president of the ACLU-NC Legal Foundation for the past two years and has been recognized by the North Carolina Advocates for Justice for his service as chairman of the Civil Rights Section and Hispanic/Latino Legal Issues Division.

Kleinschmidt, the outgoing president, praised Mahoney's selection in a written statement.

"The civil rights community can rest assured that the ACLU-NC has a very bright future with Carlos at the helm,” he said, according to the release.

Mahoney recently helped win freedom for Erick Daniels, a Durham teen who wrongly served seven years in prison on a robbery conviction that a judge found was based on flawed and poor evidence.

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