A new National Rifle Association ad aimed at Maine’s background checks initiative has become the target of more than a few jeers and sneers from opponents.

The 30-second ad opens with the words “The New Yorkers ARE HERE” – a reference to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s gun control group – under a graphic depicting what is supposed to be the Big Apple’s skyline. But rather than using an image of New York City, the NRA ad appears to show San Francisco – complete with the Golden Gate Bridge and the iconic Transamerica Pyramid skyscraper – only with the Statue of Liberty superimposed on part of the skyline.

And the arguably off-the-mark representations don’t end there.

A second later, another graphic pops up showing the state of Maine – only with all of Maine west of Jackman and most of the southern coast lopped off. Finally, the narrator warning of New Yorkers trying to “boss Mainers around” has what can only be described as an exaggerated – some would say poorly attempted – Maine accent.

The ad quickly became the butt of numerous jokes from proponents of expanded background checks on gun sales, which will appear as Question 3 on the November ballot.

Lars Dalseide, spokesman for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action in Virginia, defended the graphics as “artistic renderings.”

“The gun control groups … are trying to make arguments out of nothing because they don’t have the facts on their side,” Dalseide said.

Question 3 would require background checks before all private gun sales or transfers in Maine with exceptions for transactions between family members, to law enforcement or for some “temporary transfers” for hunting or personal defense. Currently, background checks are only required on sales conducted by federally licensed firearms dealers.

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