Abbott wades into gun control fray with ads aimed at New Yorkers

Abbott wades into gun control fray with ads aimed at New Yorkers
By Jonathan Tilove
Austin American Statesman
January 16, 2013

Attorney General Greg Abbott Wednesday launched a Google web ad campaign inviting New Yorkers who feel their gun rights are threatened by a new law just signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to move to Texas where they will have the right to bear arms, and, with lower taxes, more money to buy ammo.

The provocative web ads, paid for with Abbott campaign funds, will appear as a pop-up on screens on a variety of media web sites, including that of The New York Times, for those accessing the sites in Manhattan and Albany.

“Is Gov. Cuomo looking to take your guns? Sick of the media outing law abiding gun owns? Are you a lawful NY gun owner seeking lower taxes?” reads one of two pop-up ads.

A second reads: “Wanted: Law abiding New York gun owns looking for lower taxes and greater opportunity.”

Click on either and you are directed to a Facebook second amendment petition page with the greeting: “You’ll fit right in here in Texas!”

It reads: “Here in Texas, you will have the liberty and the opportunity to achieve your dreams. On top of that, we have no income tax, yet still manage to have a multi-billion dollar budget surplus. We have right to work laws and a reasonable regulatory environment. Texas has created more than 275,000 jobs in the last year alone! And we’ll fight like hell to protect your rights.

“You’ll also get to keep more of what you earn and use some of that extra money to buy more ammo.

“I hope to see you soon in Texas. In the meantime, sign up to show your support for our second amendment rights.”

The ad began appearing Wednesday, the morning after Cuomo signed a sweeping new gun law and even as President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden held a White House event where the president unveiled his agenda for curbing gun violence, asking Congress to require universal background checks on gun buyers and ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips.

The New York law significantly expands the ban on assault weapons in that state.

Eric Bearse, a political consultant who speaks for the Abbott campaign, did not put a dollar figure on it, but said it was a “sizable web-based buy” that would continue for a few days. He said Abbott decided to run the ads because he believed political leaders – like Cuomo and Obama – “should not take advantage of the (Newtown) tragedy to trample on Constitutional rights.”

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