The ad is now only running on KRQE-TV, an Albuquerque-area network station, but could be expanded to other stations in the coming days, a Davis campaign spokeswoman said. Station manager Bill Anderson said the station isn't allowed to censor political messages.
The ad ran uncensored because federal election laws require broadcasters to run political ads without adjustment.
Davis is an Albuquerque, New Mexico City Councilor running against several other candidates in the solidly Democratic district.
The station did run a warning beforehand to advise viewers of "inappropriate language", HuffPost reported.
The campaign spent about $US250 to buy only one lunchtime spot on Friday on KRQE News because they weren't even sure if the station would run it, Davis said.
As usual, Twitter had varying opinions on the subject, many of which could not be printed here.
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"I was a cop during the first assault-weapons ban and I'm telling you on the street it made a difference", said Davis, who was a police officer in Washington from 2000 to 2004, then in Albuquerque from 2005 to 2009. "... We're not comfortable putting that kind of language on here, but we're also not comfortable defying regulations".
Anderson added, "What we can control however, is the 15 seconds of air time preceding it, which we will use to warn the viewer of a possible offense, disclaim our own views, and cite the federal laws imposed on candidates and TV stations".
"Being polite hasn't gotten us anywhere, so maybe it's time to do something different", Davis said when asked about the ad by the network.
Davis is competing in a six-way race for the Democratic nomination for an open congressional seat based in Albuquerque.
The victor of the Democratic primary will face Republican Janice Arnold Jones and Libertarian Lloyd Princeton in the November general election. His main objective, he said, was to "start a conversation" about gun-violence prevention.
But one candidate for Congress has taken to New Mexico's airwaves with a profane and explicit message.
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