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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen went clay shooting in a TV ad released after the National Rifle Association endorsed his Republican opponent, Marsha Blackburn.

The Tennessee race’s Second Amendment tussle unfolded Wednesday.

National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund Chairman Chris Cox called Congresswoman Blackburn a champion of Second Amendment freedoms. He said voting for Bredesen means voting for anti-gun Senate leadership.

In his ad, Bredesen says he’s a lifelong gun owner and Second Amendment supporter, though it isn’t always popular, calling it his way of life growing up. He touts his NRA ‘A’ rating while governor and pledges independent thinking. Cox responded that Bredesen is now ‘D’-rated, saying the ad should be retracted because it’s misleading.

Bredesen’s campaign says he currently agrees with 80-plus percent of NRA’s positions. He differs, for example, by supporting gun show background checks.