'Gabby' Giffords to visit NH to urge Ayotte to back expanded gun sales background checks
Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle "Gabby" Giffords, who was seriously wounded in a shooting rampage in Arizona in 2011, will visit New Hampshire July 5 with her husband Mark Kelly.
The advocacy group/political action committee co-founded and co-chaired by Giffords and Kelly announced the visit Monday as part of a nationwide "Rights and Responsibilities" Tour to rally gun control supporters. In New Hampshire they are expected to continue their attempt to pressure U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte to change her controversial April vote against the Manchin-Toomey amendment, which would have expended background checks for gun sales to gun shows and the Internet.
Details of the visit have yet to be announced. They will also visit Alaska, Maine, North Carolina, North Dakota and Ohio.
The group released a poll conducted in late May by the Democratic pollster, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. According to the pollster, it showed 84 percent of New Hampshire voters support expanded background checks, with support crossing party lines. Eight-two percent of gun owners also support expanded background checks, the pollster said.
The poll also showed that 75 percent believe it is "fully possible to both protect Second Amendment rights and strengthen laws to keep guns out of the wrong hands," Americans for Responsible Solutions said, explaining another poll result.
The poll also said that 57 percent of New Hampshire voters believe Ayotte should change her vote on background checks, including 57 percent of independents, 56 percent of gun owners and 39 percent of Republicans.
According to the poll, 44 percent are less likely to vote for Ayotte because of her opposition to expanded background checks, while 18 percent said they are more likely to support her based on that vote.
The poll said that "at least 37 percent"of Granite Staters own a gun.
Ayotte spokesman Jeff Grappone dismissed the poll as a "biased poll (which) comes from an out of state special interest group that recently launched false attacks against Senator Ayotte. She stands by her votes to fix the current broken background check system, enhance prosecutions, and strengthen the mental health system.”
Americans for Responsible Solutions aired radio ads criticizing Ayotte's vote in the spring.