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Posted: 11/21/2011 6:44:54 AM EDT

Posted on 20 November 2011
Tags: gun rights, National Rifle Association

By John Lyon
Arkansas News Bureau

LITTLE ROCK — As election season gears up in Arkansas, candidates are bringing out their big guns — literally, in some cases.

The one campaign issue in Arkansas that tends to unite even the fiercest political rivals is support for gun rights, which is seen as a key credentialing tool for office-seekers at all levels in the Natural State.

Tom Cotton

Last week, 4th District congressional candidate Beth Ann Rankin announced on a radio show and in a campaign news release that she was “a proud gun owner” and the new holder of a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

“The government will never disarm the 4th District of Arkansas,” The Republican contender declared in the release.

Fellow 4th District GOP candidate Tom Cotton, an Army Reservist who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, states on his campaign website, “I will always fight outrageous United Nations’ efforts to undermine Americans’ Second Amendment rights,” and Cotton’s Facebook page features a photo of him holding a military rifle.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel

U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, who is seeking re-election to the 1st District seat, issued a release last week trumpeting his vote for a bill to allow people with state-issued concealed-carry permits to carry concealed handguns in any state that allows the carrying of concealed firearms.

“Crawford votes to protect gun owners’ rights,” read the headline of the release.
Last spring, Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Little Rock, who is seeking re-election to the 2nd District seat, and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, who is widely expected to run for governor in 2014, stopped by the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service to shake hands with National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre after LaPierre gave a lecture at the school.
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