The group will run the 60-second ad spots across the state from now until June 25.

The ads come in response to a major ad campaign from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's (I) group Mayors Against Illegal Guns that attacked Pryor for voting against the legislation, using the murder of a former Arkansas Democratic Party chairman as fodder.

Those attacks may have done more harm than good to Bloomberg's efforts, as Arkansas has a high number of gun owners and the attacks from out-of-state liberal interests drew criticism from some in the state. They also spurred the NRA's response — and that group's backing could be invaluable for the Democratic senator as he fights to hold his seat.

It's unclear whether the NRA will support Pryor in the election or just felt the need to respond to Bloomberg's attacks. But if Pryor can secure their endorsement — something that's not guaranteed, as in the past he's voted for some gun regulations they don't approve of — it could give his hopes of reelection a boost.

Pryor has no announced opponent at this point, though many expect Rep. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonGOP senators raise concerns about babies on Senate floor Dems walk tightrope on Pompeo nomination FCC moves forward with rule aimed at protecting US communications networks MORE (R-Ark.) will run against him.