Police Chief Refutes Senator Ayotte's False Claim That She Supports Background Checks In New Hampshire TV Ad Out Today
Jun 04, 2013
Mayors Against Illegal Guns today announced a new television ad featuring Police Chief Scott Knight that refutes recent claims from Senator Kelly Ayotte that she supports background checks even though she voted against the only bill that would have improved the background check system. Instead, Ayotte voted for a decoy bill created by the gun lobby that would have weakened the system by making it easier for the dangerously mentally ill to get guns.
Last month, Senator Ayotte voted against the Manchin-Toomey background check bill – the only bill that would have required background checks for commercial gun sales and improved the background check system. Now facing heavy backlash from the 89 percent of New Hampshire voters that support background checks, Senator Ayotte and the NRA gun lobby claim her vote for a decoy bill created by the gun lobby—called the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013 and commonly known as the Grassley-Cruz amendment—was a vote for background checks. This is patently false: while Manchin-Toomey would have kept guns out of dangerous hands, Grassley-Cruz would actually weaken the system and put more guns in the hands dangerous people.
- Doesn’t close the private sale loophole that allows felons, domestic abusers, and severely mentally ill people to avoid background checks simply by shopping online or at gun shows. The private sale loophole allows 6.6 million guns to be sold each year without background checks. Criminals routinely exploit this private sale loophole: Nearly 80% of inmates who used a handgun in their crimes acquired the gun in a private transfer.
- Makes it easier for the severely mentally ill people to buy guns, including people who have been involuntary committed to mental hospitals.
- Cuts funding that helps states strengthen the background check system by getting more relevant records into the system.
On the other hand, the Manchin-Toomey bill Ayotte voted against would help keep guns out of the hands of criminals by requiring all gun buyers in commercial settings—including online and at gun shows—to face background checks. Manchin-Toomey would have also strengthened the existing background check system by ensuring that state mental health records are entered into the system, removing hurdles to state-level reporting of mental health records, and requiring federal courts to submit critical mental health records. More information on Senator Ayotte’s votes against background checks is available here.