Landrieu shakes up campaign staff _lowres

Advocate staff file photo by BRYAN TUCK -- U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu

Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is defending her record on gun rights, seeking to rebut sharp criticism from the NRA in a state where the right to bear arms is given special constitutional protection.

The senator, locked in a tight race for a fourth term, is pushing back against the National Rifle Association ad that accuses Landrieu of “voting to take away your gun rights.” The ad is presumably a reference to her 2013 vote in support of expanded background checks for gun buyers.

The NRA is supporting Landrieu’s main GOP opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin was at a shooting range Tuesday in south Louisiana to talk about Landrieu’s gun rights support. Landrieu’s campaign is circulating a list of votes the senator has cast favoring gun ownership.