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NRA Thanks Heidi Heitkamp For Voting Against Background Checks In New Mailer

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Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) is getting a boost from the National Rifle Association, which is out with a new mailer encouraging its members to thank the senator for voting against background checks.

Last month, Heitkamp was one of just four Democratic senators who sided with the vast majority of Republicans to shoot down a bipartisan proposal to strengthen and expand background checks for gun purchases.

According to the Forum News Service, the NRA recently sent out the mailer to all its North Dakota members, urging them to contact Heitkamp's office and thank her for her vote.

"The NRA thinks that Sen. Heitkamp is a profile in courage and common sense. She listens to her constituents," NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said in a statement to the paper. The senator has an A rating from the gun lobby group.

The NRA did not return a request for a copy of the mailer.

Heitkamp spokeswoman Whitney Phillips also said that the senator has received an "outpouring" of support.

In her statement explaining why she was opposing the bipartisan background checks legislation, Heitkamp said, "I've been adamant from the very beginning of this conversation that the focus should be on mental health issues, full and accurate reporting into the NICS database and ensuring that we are prosecuting criminals in possession of or trying to possess firearms. This conversation should be about what is in people’s minds, not about what is in their hands."

In March, Heitkamp criticized Mayors Against Illegal Guns for running an ad in North Dakota encouraging the senator to vote for background checks.

Both MAIG and the NRA have launched ads either targeting or supporting senators in the wake of last month's vote.

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