Democratic senators from mostly rural areas in the West and South must walk a fine line between party loyalty and constituents' wishes when it comes to gun control legislation.
Dylan Brown/The Independent Record/AP/File
Democratic senators in the West and South who have long embraced gun-owners' rights are facing angry constituents, on edge over a renewed call for a ban on assault weapons from liberal lawmakers in Washington, D.C., in the aftermath of December's deadly elementary school shooting in Connecticut.
These Democrats hail from predominantly rural regions of the country where the Second Amendment of the US Constitution — which guarantees the right to bear arms — is cherished and where Republican candidates routinely win in presidential elections.
From Montana to Louisiana, these anxious voters have made at least six Democratic senators a bit uneasy heading into next year's election season. Both sides are aware that gun-owners' rights are taking shape as a campaign issue for 2014.
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