The National Rifle Association plans to spend more than $1.5 million in the Georgia Senate runoff elections.
The gun-rights group's super PAC, the NRA Victory Fund, told the Washington Free Beacon it plans to spend more than $500,000 on digital ads and another $1 million on television leading up to the January 5 elections between Republican incumbent senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler and Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. PAC spokeswoman Erica Tergeson said GOP control of the Senate is the only roadblock to future gun restrictions after President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
"Our goal is to inform as many gun owners in Georgia as possible about the records and statements of the Senate candidates regarding the Second Amendment and our right to self-protection," Tergeson told the Free Beacon.
Unlike their Republican opponents, Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock have publicly embraced a collection of gun-control positions. Biden's proposal to ban, register, and tax popular firearms such as the AR-15 and institute a range of other restrictions is more likely to pass if the two Democrats are elected.
While Ossoff has at times said he would "defend [the] Second Amendment," his campaign website says he supports banning guns like the AR-15, universal background checks, red flag laws, and requiring Americans to "demonstrate high qualification and compelling specific needs" in order to purchase certain firearms. Warnock spent years as a pastor fighting against broadening gun-carry laws in Georgia while also joining with gun-control groups to push universal background checks and other gun reforms. Both men are endorsed by the country's leading gun-control advocacy groups.
The Victory Fund attacked Ossoff and Warnock as "radical liberals" in an ad released on Saturday. The group said Democratic victories in Georgia would give Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) control of the Senate and Democrats control of the entire federal government.
"Land of the free?" a voice-over in the ad says. "Not if radical liberals get what they want. Don't let Chuck Schumer take over the Senate and take away your right to self-defense. Defend America. Defeat Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock."
The Victory Fund said the ad is running online and on streaming services. The 15-second spot is just one of several the group plans to release in the coming weeks.
The Victory Fund spending is only one part of the NRA's overall effort in the state. The group's traditional PAC, the Political Victory Fund, has endorsed Republican incumbents Loeffler and Perdue. The senators each enjoy "A" ratings from the NRA.