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Senator Brandishes Rifle in New Ad
PHOTO: Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., appears in an ad where he says hes a lifetime NRA member but states he isnt tethered to them on every issue.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., released a new television ad today challenging the National Rifle Association on gun control while brandishing his signature rifle.

The new spot, called "Common Sense," comes after the NRA began running $100,000 worth of ads against Manchin in West Virginia, attacking him for working with gun control advocates on background-check legislation.

"I'm a lifetime NRA member but I don't walk in lock step with the NRA's Washington leadership, this administration or any special interest group," Manchin says in the ad. "West Virginia, you know me. I haven't changed and you know I've always fought for our gun rights."

Manchin, 65, launched his Senate bid in 2010 with markedly similar imagery, and using what appears to be the same rifle. The spot, "Dead Aim," challenged his own party on climate change and President Obama's health care law. He notably shot a bullet from his rifle into the text of the cap-and-trade bill.

The two ads use identical background music, although, unlike the 2010 version, Manchin does not shoot the rifle in this most recent ad.

Manchin, who was re-elected in 2012, does not face voters again until 2018.

Manchin's close association with the NRA made his support for additional gun control legislation all the more meaningful for advocates in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December, in Newtown, Conn.

He co-sponsored legislation that would expand the criminal background-check system, but the bill failed in the Senate in April.

"I believe that we can protect the Second Amendment and make our communities safer," he continues in the ad. "I think most law-abiding gun owners agree with me."

The spot will air in West Virginia for a week at a cost of a little more than $100,000, matching the NRA's ad buy.

(Sen. Joe Manchin)

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