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Gun lobby starts new TV show as Obama weighs gun control proposals

By Ronald Grover

(Reuters) - The National Rifle Association will produce a nightly one-hour cable talk show called "Cam & Company" for the Sportsman Channel that is due to premiere on Tuesday, the same day Vice President Joe Biden is expected to present national gun control proposals to the White House.

NRA Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre said on Friday in a statement from the Sportsman Channel that the program "comes at a critical time in the history of preserving our Second Amendment."

U.S. President Barack Obama ordered a task force headed by Biden to prepare recommendations to curb gun violence after a gunman shot and killed 20 children and six adults at a school in Newtown, Connecticut, in December.

The massacre ignited a national debate over controlling gun violence. The NRA, the leading U.S. gun lobbying group, said armed police should be stationed in every school, while gun control advocates demanded a ban on assault rifles and large ammunition magazines.

The Sportsman Channel said the show would be hosted by Cam Edwards, a gun advocate who hosts a daily three-hour online program that is simulcast on Sirius XM Satellite Radio's Patriot Channel. Edwards is scheduled to broadcast his first show on Tuesday from the SHOT show (Shooting, Hunting Outdoor Trade) in Las Vegas.

"Cam Edwards will bring intelligence, insight, and perspective to vital issues and complicated topics - live, every day - that are being fumbled by uninformed instant experts on other broadcast and cable shows," Sportsman Channel Chief Executive Gavin Harvey said in the statement.

The program will be produced at an NRA studio in Washington, D.C., and air weekdays from 5 to 6 p.m. ET, the NRA said on its news website.

"Cam & Company" is the third NRA produced or sponsored show to appear on the Sportsman Channel, which can be seen in more than 31 million homes, the channel said. The NRA also produces "Guns and Gold," in which values are set on old guns, and "3 Gun Nation," a shooting competition program.

"This kind of programming has been done before, but it usually comes in a religious guise," said Larry Gerbrandt, a former cable television executive and founder of Media Valuation Partners, which appraises entertainment and media assets. "Live video is a much better way to mobilize your base than printed flyers."

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said by telephone that the new show had been planned for more than a year and was not motivated by Biden's proposals.

(Editing by Jim Loney)

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