The Massachusetts senator sent Federal Election Commission (search) Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub a letter Tuesday asking the commission to block any attempt by the NRA to get a media exemption to campaign finance rules.
The gun-rights lobby is considering acquiring a television or radio outlet and seeking the same exemption from campaign finance rules that news organizations have. If the group won a media exemption, it would be free to say whatever it wanted about candidates at any time and spend unlimited amounts doing so.
"We urge you to prevent the NRA from hijacking America's airwaves with the gun lobby's money," Kerry's letter said. "If the NRA has something to say, it can play by the rules, just like the millions of people in America who do every day."
The NRA, financed in part with corporate money, is banned by the campaign finance law from running ads identifying federal candidates close to elections in states where they are on the ballot. It contends the rules violate free-speech rights (search), and is among several groups asking the Supreme Court to strike them down.