Advocacy group keeps spotlight on Ayotte gun vote
At a Granite State Progress and Mayors Against Illegal Guns news conference Thursday, the fathers of a child and a teacher killed in the Newtown, Conn., school shooting criticized Ayotte for voting against the amendment.
She has said the Grassley-Cruz amendment she supports addresses mental health gaps in the system, adds resources to improve school safety and criminalizes gun trafficking and straw purchases.
Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, recently traveled to Arkansas to meet with U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, who like Ayotte voted against the Manchin-Toomey amendment.
He and Rousseau, and John Cantin of Manchester, whose daughter Missy was murdered by her husband several years ago, all acknowledged enhanced background checks would not have prevented a Newtown massacre, but said they would help to reduce gun violence.
“From the start of this debate, Senator Ayotte has kept her focus on keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and improving our mental health system,” Grappone said. “She voted for legislation that had bipartisan support to fix the current broken background check system, increase the prosecution of those who illegally seek to obtain firearms, and provide additional resources for school safety, while protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. She also worked across party lines to pass a bipartisan amendment in the Senate to strengthen the nation’s mental health system.”
Groups like Mayors against Illegal Guns have targeted Ayotte and her vote, running ads and pursuing her at appearances. Gun rights groups such as the NRA and the America Future Fund have supported her through televisions ads of their own.
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