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Is the NRA a new state agency?

Is the National Rifle Association a new state agency?

A reference sheet recently sent to all state Senate offices listing contact information for all state agency legislative lobbyists includes the gun lobby group.

The NRA lobbyists -- Anthony Roulettte and Christopher Cox -- are listed between the National Guard of North Carolina and the Board of Occupational Therapy on the alphabetical sheet that includes the legislative liaisons for the governor's office, state auditor and other major state agencies. The NRA is the only nongovernmental special interest group on the list.

The sheet, sent from the legislative assistant director in February to all offices and obtained by Dome, is designed to serve as a quick lookup for all aides to senators.

NRA ad targets Kay Hagan's seat

The National Rifle Association has a full-page ad in Thursday's The News & Observer. The national group is targeting North Carolina and three other Republican-leaning states where Democratic senators are up for re-election next year, The Hill newspaper reports.

"Will Obama's own gun control proposals actually work? His own experts say no," the ad reads. It tells readers: “Call Sen. Kay Hagan today. Tell her to oppose Obama’s gun control proposals and to fix our broken mental health system.”

Also in their sights: Sen. Mark Pryor (Arkansas), Sen. Mary Landrieu (Louisiana) and the West Virginia seat being vacated by Sen. Jay Rockefeller who is retiring.

The Hill says the NRA's big ad buy also includes a full-page ad in Maine, where Republican Sen. Susan Collins is up for re-election, and in regional editions of USA Today, plus a YouTube video that's been viewed 275,000 times.

NRA planning massive NC outreach in next 2 weeks

The National Rifle Association plans to contact between 750,000 and 1 million North Carolina voters between now and the election, officials say.

The NRA has made a major commitment to North Carolina, just as it has other other battleground states, said Andrew Arulanandam, the NRA's public affairs director. That included hiring two field workers in the state in the spring to help coordinate volunteer including hiring two field workers to coordinate volunteers.

“They basically coordinate efforts at events, lit drops, volunteer phone calls, neighborhood walks, make sure we have an active presence at gun shows and gun stores in North Carolina,” Arulanandam said.

NRA clashed with North Carolina lawmakers

An AP story takes a look at how the National Rifle Association isn't always getting its way with the political party it courts: Republicans.

One example where the gun supporters clashed with lawmakers: North Carolina.

"In North Carolina, the NRA lamented the failure of the Republican-controlled Senate to approve a bill to allow concealed permit holders to carry their guns in restaurants where alcohol is served. Chamber leader Phil Berger said the Senate wanted to take its time on the bill, and some Republicans had raised concerns mixing alcohol and firearms. ...

NRA backs Democrat Kissell

Here is a reason why Democrat Congressman Larry Kissell may not be a pushover, despite the fact that his 8th district is now a lot more Republican as a result of redistricting.

Kissell of Biscoe was once again endorsed by the National Rifle Association “as a staunch supportr of the Second Amendment and our right to keep and bear arms.''

The NRA also endorsed Kissell in in 2010.

Executions, guns and beer

EXECUTION REFORM: The Unabomber's brother and others push for changes in capital punishment. (N&O)

ANTI-CONVENTIONAL WISDOM: The other side of the gun control debate will try to be heard during the NRA convention in Charlotte this week. (Charlotte Observer)

DOES IT INCLUDE CLYDESDALES?: The state ABC Commission is being asked to weigh in on whether Raleigh's new concert venue can be called the Bud Light Ampitheater. (N&O)

Quick Hits

* U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx says murder of Matthew Shephard was not a hate crime, but just a robbery, in floor speech today.

* Gov. Beverly Perdue's office has referred to the "swine flu" in press releases, but they've not had any internal discussion on the best name.

* National Rifle Association also opposes state Sen. Don Davis' "puppy mill" bill; earlier opposed similar House bill.

* Charlotte Observer columnist Jack Betts thinks it's "a bit of quirky irony" that former lobbyist Don Beason is being investigated.

NRA opposes puppy mill bill

The National Rifle Association opposes a bill on puppy mills.

The gun rights group e-mailed supporters in North Carolina today urging them to call state legislators considering a bill to regulate commercial dog breeding sponsored by two Democrats and two Republicans.

The e-mail argues the bill is "part of the same old lie" by the Humane Society of the United States, which it says wants to eventually ban all hunting in America.

"Kennel owners who own and train hunting dogs will be hauled into court under the provisions of the legislation and will be forced, at great cost, to put forward an affirmative defense pursuant to the exception," the e-mail says.

It argues that if the House bill is passed, the Humane Society will be back "with even more radical proposals like this."

NRA on line two, please

The National Rifle Association can finally use the White House to raise money again, judging from a recent phone call.

The NRA is dialing up N.C. households (and, presumably, in other states, too) with apocalyptic Second Amendment warnings about President Obama but primarily to sign up new members or renew old ones. The phone bank staffer said the group is calling N.C. gun owners, though he had no way of knowing whether he was talking to one. 

The caller introduces a recorded message from longtime NRA Executive Vice President Wayne Lapierre, warning that Obama wants to tax ammunition and take a host of other steps that infringe on gun rights: "We need to get ready for that fight,"  Lapierre says.

The NRA used then-President Bill Clinton during his administration as a fundraising tool, particularly after he pushed through a now-expired ban on so-called assault weapons and the 1993 Brady Law that required a criminal background check on gun buyers and, in most states, a waiting period for gun purchases. (The Brady Law has effectively been replaced by a national criminal check system managed by the FBI.)

The group had allies in President George W. Bush and the Republicans who controlled Congress for six of the past eight years, so it wasn't very practical during that time to use the White House and Congress to stir up gun rights anxiety.

Eleven states limit Sunday hunting

Eleven states limit Sunday hunting.

According to the National Rifle Association, a gun rights advocacy group, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey and Connecticut prohibit hunting on Sundays completely.

Four states have more limited bans.

Maryland allows it on two Sundays during deer season; South Carolina, on private land; North Carolina, on some federal installations; and West Virginia, in local counties that have approved it.

New York, Ohio and Michigan have overturned Sunday hunting bans in recent years.

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