Earlier this month, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) voted against a bipartisan measure to expand background checks for gun purchases conducted at gun shows and online and saw her approval ratings plummet by 15 points. But now the National Rifle Association, who spent millions lobbying against the popular measure is coming to her defense.
The organization is running radio ads thanking Ayotte for focusing on “meaningful bipartisan solutions” and opposing “misguided gun control laws that would not have prevented Sandy Hook.” The ad does not specifically mention background checks, but notes that Ayotte supports improving the mental health system as “the only way to protect our children” because she is a mother:
Washington is full of politicians out of touch with the problems of our lives. While we worry about keeping our kids safe, too many of them worry about keeping their own power. But Senator Kelly Ayotte is focused on meaningful bipartisan solutions to our nation’s problems. That’s because Kelly Ayotte is not just a senator, she’s also a mom who cares about protecting our kids. She knows that they only way to protect our children from tragedies like Sandy Hook is to fix our broken mental health system. That’s why Kelly Ayotte brought Republicans and Democrats together on a bipartisan solution and it’s why Kelly had the courage to oppose misguided gun control laws that would not have prevented Sandy Hook. Kelly Ayotte is focused on prosecuting law breakers and fixing our broken mental health system. Call her at 202-224-3121 and thank her for focusing on protecting our kids and our New Hampshire values. Paid for by the New Hampshire men and women of the National Rifle Association.
Gun safety advocates confronted Ayotte for opposing background checks the day after the vote and asked her to explain her position. The first-term senator didn’t address the need to keep criminals or mentally ill people from obtaining firearms and instead explained that she wanted to protect gun shop owners from the burden of running additional background checks for sales conducted at gun shows or online.
New polling data from Public Policy Polling finds that the five senators from Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, and Ohio who voted against background checks have “seen their approval numbers decline, and voters say they’re less likely to support them the next time they’re up for reelection.”