NHDP - Ayotte Continues to Mislead Voters About Her Opposition to Commonsense Gun Violence Prevention Measures

Confronted by victim of gun violence, Ayotte falsely claims she voted for Manchin-Toomey legislation

Concord – Confronted by a New Hampshire victim of gun violence for her irresponsible vote against commonsense background checks, Kelly Ayotte tried to claim she had actually voted for the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey legislation she opposed. When asked about strengthening background checks, Ayotte said, “And so the legislation that I know you wanted me to support, the Manchin-Toomey that I did support, would have done that to get the records in in New Hampshire…” [VIDEO]  But the fact is that Senator Ayotte didn’t vote for bipartisan the Manchin-Toomey legislation, she voted against it. [Senate Vote 97, 4/17/13]
“Kelly Ayotte sided with the Washington gun lobby instead of New Hampshire, and months later her only defense is deception.  She opposed bipartisan commonsense background check legislation that would have helped keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill who could pose a danger to themselves and others,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Communication Director Harrell Kirstein.  “With Granite Staters holding her accountable and her public poll numbers in free fall, Ayotte has given up trying to explain her irresponsible vote.  Instead she is claiming she actually voted for the bill she voted against.  It’s shameful.”
“…There are some areas where we can find common ground; I also think that we should fix some of the problems with our background check system, including getting the records in that aren’t in right now. And so the legislation that I know you wanted me to support, the Manchin-Toomey that I did support, would have done that to get the records in in New Hampshire…” said Ayotte on Thursday.   LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=GXvpCIU5Cxs#t=208
The fact is that Ayotte voted against the bipartisan Manchin-Toomey legislation and for the Grassley-Cruz Amendment sponsored by extreme right-winger, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, which would have   weakened gun safety protections. [Senate Vote 98, 4/17/13]
Ayotte’s inability to defend her irresponsible voting record isn’t new, she was criticized for being unable to defend her out of touch vote this spring.  The Concord Monitor wrote, “Magicians rely on misdirection to fool audiences and pull off their tricks. So do politicians when asked tough questions, as Sen. Kelly Ayotte has been.” The Valley News wrote her "non-explanation was so vague it raised a number of questions" adding that it wasn't "one anybody would mistake for convincing."  The Portsmouth Herald editorialized, "If we don't like how she voted Wednesday it's up to all of us who care about this issue to show Sen. Ayotte she was mistaken by voting her out of office."
Multiple independent public polls reported that 9 of 10 New Hampshire citizens supported the bipartisan common sense measure Ayotte voted against.  [NEC, 1/24/2013; PPP Poll, 4/24/2013; UNH Poll, 2/8/2013]
“Senator Ayotte knows she is in the wrong.  That doesn’t excuse her trying to mislead the people of New Hampshire, rather it makes her dishonesty even worse,” added Kirstein.
Sen. Ayotte Opposed The Manchin-Toomey Amendment To Expand Background Checks. [Senate Vote 97, 4/17/13]
Manchin-Toomey Was "Bipartisan Legislation To Expand Background Checks To Gun Shows And The Internet."  "Bipartisan legislation to expand background checks to gun shows and the Internet. This is the Manchin-Toomey proposal that's getting so much press lately. This amendment would essentially become the new gun bill if it passed. It would require all buyers of firearms at gun shows and over the Internet to complete federal background checks first. It would also strengthen laws against gun trafficking and straw purchases and provide funding for school safety."  [Washington Post, 4/17/13]
Manchin-Toomey: "Extends The Existing Background Check System To Gun Shows And Online Sales."  "The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act would require states and the federal government to send all necessary records on criminals and the violently mentally ill to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The bill extends the existing background check system to gun shows and online sales."  [Pat Toomey Press Release, 4/10/13]
Sen. Ayotte Voted For The Grassley-Cruz Amendment. [Senate Vote 98, 4/17/13]
National Review:  "There Is No Expansion Of Background Checks In The Grassley And Cruz Legislation."  "There is no expansion of background checks in the Grassley and Cruz legislation. Instead, there is funding devoted to increasing gun prosecutions: $50 million over five years for prosecution of felons and fugitives who try to buy guns (in 2009, according to the NRA, 77,000 people failed the NICS background check, yet fewer than 100 were prosecuted). An additional $45 million will be distributed over three years to hire assistant U.S. attorneys and Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearm agents in especially violent areas."  [National Review, 4/17/13]
New York Daily News: "Beefed Up Background Checks" Were Not Part Of Grassley Cruz.  "The amendment Ayotte referenced, known as the Grassley-Cruz amendment, for the senators who co-wrote it, contained several Republican proposals, but beefed-up background checks were not among them."  [New York Daily News, 5/7/13]
Politico: Grassley-Cruz "Ignored Gun Shows And Internet Sales Entirely."  "Instead, the Granite Stater backed an alternative measure written by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that ignored gun shows and internet sales entirely, instead focusing on encouraging states to submit mental health information to the background check database."  [Politico, 5/7/13]
Washington Post:  Grassley-Gruz "Would Loosen Gun Restrictions By Making It Easier To Purchase And Carry Guns Across State Lines." "The main Republican alternative to gun control, proposed by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ted Cruz (R-Ariz.) failed with 52 senators in favor and 48 opposed. It would increase funding for criminal prosecution, school safety, and mental health resources and create a task force to go after felons who fail background checks. It would also criminalize trafficking and straw purchasing and increase the penalties for them. At the same time, the amendment would loosen gun restrictions by making it easier to purchase and carry guns across state lines."  [Washington Post, 4/17/13]
Grassley Cruz Would Make It Easier For People Who Had Been Involuntarily Committed To Buy Guns.  "The NRA-approved substitute Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) offered today would actually make it easier for some mentally ill people to obtain guns. The bill states that it strengthens the federal background check system to ensure that mentally ill people don't purchase guns. But it defines that term narrowly and would allow patients who had been involuntarily committed and treated for mental illness to pass a federal background check and buy weapons.  For instance, current law prohibits people who are ordered by a court into involuntary treatment from buying weapons - even though individuals can petition to have their rights restored in 22 states. Under the bill, individuals who are released could seek to have their name removed from the federal database immediately and would not have to go through a formal adjudication process to prove worthiness to buy a gun. People who were determined to be a danger to themselves or others would only be prohibited from gun ownership if they are proven to be imminently dangerous."  [Think Progress, 4/17/13]