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NRA Claims News Exemption on Campaign Spending

The National Rifle Association wants to buy a radio or TV station in order to bolster its argument that it should get a news exemption from campaign-finance-spending limits.

NRA executive VP Wayne LaPierre told the Associated Press in an interview that "we’re looking at bringing a court case that we’re as legitimate a media outlet as Disney or Viacom or Time Warner."

Campaign-finance-reform laws passed in November 2002 prevent corporate or union money from being spent on ads identifying federal candidates in the 30-day run-up to a primary or 60 days before an election. The reform laws have been challenged in court, including by the NRA, but will remain in effect until the Supreme Court rules.

LaPierre told the AP that, even without buying a station, the NRA should be considered part of the media given its extensive magazine-publishing operations, including American Rifleman, American Hunger and America’s 1st Freedom magazine.

LaPierre said the NRA may try for a media exemption whether or not it prevails with its court challenge of the law.