CONCORD, N.H. – Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the New Hampshire chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America today declared victory as voters in the Granite State have ousted Kelly Ayotte, after a multi-year campaign to hold her accountable for siding with the Washington gun lobby instead of standing up for the interests of New Hampshire public safety in the wake of mass shootings at Sandy Hook School and the Pulse nightclub. In addition to Everytown and Moms Demand Action’s grassroots activity in New Hampshire, Independence USA PAC spent more than $8.5 million on television ads to oppose Ayotte, showcasing her votes against gun safety.
U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire was the only senator from North Carolina to Maine to oppose expanding background checks in 2013 after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook School that killed 20 children and six educators. In fact, Ayotte has repeatedly voted against expanding background checks – even though 80 percent of her constituents support such common-sense gun measures. Even after the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Ayotte again voted against expanding background checks.
“Kelly Ayotte has consistently voted with the gun lobby and against the single most effective policy to save lives from gun violence — expanded background checks — and we have held her accountable for being out of step with her voters and the American public,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Other lawmakers should take note: This is what happens when you kowtow to the extremist leadership of the NRA.”
For the past three years, volunteers with the New Hampshire chapter of Moms Demand Action and the Everytown Survivor Network have attended Ayotte’s public events to highlight her position against gun safety. Earlier this summer, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and New Hampshire Moms Demand Action volunteers took out a full-page newspaper ad blasting Ayotte for once again voting against expanded background checks, this time after the mass shooting at the Pulse. Facing a tough election challenge from gun sense champion, Gov. Maggie Hassan, Ayotte tried to rewrite her record and portray herself as an advocate for gun safety by citing her votes for NRA decoy bills. New Hampshire Moms Demand Action corrected the record for Granite State voters by canvassing throughout the state, knocking on doors, tracking Ayotte at public events and making thousands of phone calls to explain Ayotte’s past votes while offering support for her opponent, Gov. Hassan.
“Kelly Ayotte has repeatedly stood up for the NRA’s extreme agenda rather than standing with her constituents and families like mine,” said Erica Lafferty, whose mother, Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, the principal of Sandy Hook School, was murdered protecting her students. “Ayotte once said that expanded background checks would burden gun owners – leaving me to wonder why she doesn’t value my mom’s life enough to require simple, 90-second background checks. It’s gratifying to see that voters held Ayotte accountable for her opposition to gun safety, and that they have now replaced her with a gun sense champ in Maggie Hassan.”
“Since 2013 following the Sandy Hook tragedy, we told Kelly we would remember in November 2016 and hold her accountable for voting with the gun lobby – and we did just that by kicking Kelly out of office and electing gun sense champion Maggie Hassan. The defeat of Kelly Ayotte proves what we’ve been saying all along: New Hampshire voters will support leaders who stand up to the gun lobby, not kowtow to it,” said Deidre Reynolds a volunteer with the New Hampshire chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety. “I am proud to be a part of a movement that is holding candidates accountable for their positions on matters of gun safety – regardless of party affiliation. I am confident that Senator-elect Hassan will stand up to the gun lobby and vote for gun safety, which, after many requests, Kelly Ayotte simply would not do for Granite Staters.”
“The defeat of Senator Ayotte is the result of years of grassroots activity and passion on the part of gun violence survivors and advocates for gun safety here in New Hampshire,” said Clai Lasher-Sommers, a member for the Everytown Survivor Network, part of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Kelly Ayotte had numerous opportunities to stand up to the gun lobby – and she repeatedly failed to do so. This election, gun violence survivors like me stood in support of Maggie Hassan, a proven gun sense champion and I am thrilled that New Hampshire voters made the right choice in this important race.”