In December, Senator Kelly Ayotte voted against a measure that would have prevented suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms.
Seven months later, Election Year Ayotte has reportedly reversed course and decided to not only support a near-identical amendment from Senator Feinstein, but also introduce legislation of her own that would have the same effect.
Why? Because a new poll shows her losing and — most importantly — that 89% of New Hampshire voters “support closing loopholes so that terror suspects cannot legally purchase weapons.”
Senator Ayotte’s in an election year. That’s why she’s pretending to have come around on common sense gun safety laws. Ayotte hasn’t had a moment of clarity — she’s just going through the motions of pretending to share Granite Staters’ priorities in a desperate effort to hold on to her Senate seat.
Ayotte Voted Against Denying Suspected Terrorists From Purchasing Guns After San Bernardino Shooting
2015: Ayotte Effectively Voted Against Allowing The U.S. Attorney General To Deny Suspected Or Known Terrorist From Buying Firearms. In December 2015, Ayotte effectively voted against allowing the U.S. Attorney General to prevent suspected or known terrorists from purchasing a firearm. According to Congressional Quarterly, the amendment would have “allow[ed] the attorney general to deny the sale or transfer of a firearm, as well as the issuance of a firearms or explosives license or permit, to an individual known or suspected to have been engaged in conduct constituting, related to or supporting terrorism.” The underlying legislation was a substitute amendment repealing key provisions of the Affordable Care Act while also defunding Planned Parenthood. The vote was on a motion to waive all applicable budgetary discipline, which required a 3/5ths majority. The Senate rejected the motion by a vote of 45 to 54. [Senate Vote 319, 12/3/15; Congressional Quarterly, 12/3/15; Congressional Quarterly, 12/3/15]
- December 2, 2015: Two Assailants Opened Fire And Killed And Wounded Nearly Three Dozen People In San Bernardino As An Act Of Terrorism.According to the Los Angeles Times, “Two assailants opened fire in San Bernardino at a holiday party in the Inland Regional Center on Wednesday. Fourteen people were killed and 21 wounded, most of them county employees. The Times is collecting their stories. The two attackers, who were married, were killed in a gun battle with police. They were U.S.-born Syed Rizwan Farook and Pakistan national Tashfeen Malik, and had an arsenal of ammunition and pipe bombs in their Redlands home. There is no sign the couple were part of a terrorist network, officials said, but the FBI is officially investigating the shooting as terrorism and President Obama called it an ‘act of terrorism.’ Federal law enforcement sources say the attack might also be workplace related.” [Los Angeles Times, 12/7/15]
- White House: From 2000 To 2014, 2,000 People On The Terror Watch List Bought Guns.According to the White House, “The need to act could not be more clear. From 2004 to 2014, for example, 2,000 people on the terror watch list were able to purchase guns.” [White House, 12/6/15]
Ayotte Defended Vote By Saying Provision Lacked “Due Process” Protections
Ayotte’s Spokesperson Argued That Ayotte Was Calling For A “GOP Alternative Amendment” That Would Have Provided “Due Process Protections For Americans Who Believe They Are Wrongly On The List.” According to NHPR, “Ayotte’s spokesman Liz Johnson says the measure Ayotte was referring to in the tweet was a ‘GOP alternative amendment would have allowed the DOJ to prevent individuals on the terrorist watch list from purchasing firearms and that included due process protections for Americans who believe they are wrongly on the list.’ All but one Republican Senator backed that measure.” [NHPR, 12/7/15]
Ayotte Said She Opposed The Amendment Because It Did Not Provide Sufficient “Due Process” For Those Wrongly On The Watch List. According to WMUR, “Ayotte’s office said Monday she opposed the Feinstein bill because it did not provide sufficient ‘due process’ for those who feel that they are on wrongly on the list. Also, her office noted, the Feinstein bill would have gutted the underlying bill, which repealed several provisions of the Affordable Care Act and ended Medicaid expansion as of Jan. 1, 2018. Ayotte instead joined with Republicans to vote in favor of an alternative bill sponsored by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. Cornyn’s bill would have allowed the attorney general to delay firearms sales to suspected terrorists for up to 72 hours while authorities pursued a court order to block the sales permanently.” [WMUR,12/7/15]
Ayotte Had Opposed Ban As Early As 2010 In An NRA Questionnaire
The NRA’s 2010 Candidate Questionnaire Contained A Question On “The Use Of Secret Lists To Deny Persons Their Second Amendment Rights” And Ayotte Received An “A” Rating From The NRA In 2010. According to WMUR, “The NRA, in a 2010 candidate questionnaire, stated that it opposed ‘the use of secret lists to deny persons their Second Amendment rights’ and asked candidates to state whether they agreed or disagreed with the NRA. While Ayotte’s position on the specific question is unclear, the state Democratic Party has pointed out that Ayotte in 2010 received an ‘A’ rating from the NRA.” [WMUR, 12/15/15]
Clai Lasher-Sommers And Deidre Reynolds Op-Ed: The Terror Gap Proposal Ayotte Voted For Was “Mere Window Dressing And Sen. Ayotte Knows It.” In an op-ed in the Nashua Telegraph, gun violence survivor Clai Lasher-Sommers and volunteer leader of the New Hampshire chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Deidre Reynolds wrote, “Perhaps in an effort to appear less extreme, Sen. Ayotte did vote in favor of a Sen. John Cornyn bill that half-heartedly attempts to address the Terror Gap. The problem is that Sen. Cornyn’s measure puts an unrealistic burden on federal law enforcement to show that someone already on the terror watch list will commit an act of terror, and gives them only 72 hours to get the suspected terrorist into court and meet this highly improbable standard. His proposal is mere window dressing and Sen. Ayotte knows it.” [Nashua Telegraph, 12/10/15]
Nashua Telegraph Editorial: Ayotte Was “Trying To Have It Both Ways” On Whether Those On The No-Fly List Should Be Banned From Purchasing Guns. In an editorial, the Nashua Telegraph wrote, “The issues vary, but Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Gov. Maggie Hassan are each trying to have it both ways. In Ayotte’s case, the issue is whether people on the federal government’s no-fly list should be banned from legally purchasing firearms. Ayotte, a Republican, says she favors such a ban, but voted against an amendment to do that the day after the shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., that killed 14 people. The issue was not the ban itself, said Ayotte spokeswoman Liz Johnson, but the language of that particular amendment, which she called ‘a stunt.’ The senator ‘instead voted for a measure that allows the U.S. attorney general to prevent individuals on the terrorist watchlist from purchasing firearms while ensuring due process,’ Johnson said in a statement. ‘Kelly supports ensuring that those on the watchlist are not allowed to purchase firearms provided there are due process protections for American citizens who believe they have been wrongfully placed on the list.’” [Nashua Telegraph, 12/15/15]
Published: Jun 20, 2016