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Gun control forces take fight to New Hampshire, Sen. Kelly Ayotte

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Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

(Read caption) Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) of New Hampshire waves as she ends her speech at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., in March. Ayotte, who voted against the gun bill and, notably, was the only senator from the Northeast to vote no on the provision to extend background checks to more gun buyers, have emerged as ground zero in that battle.

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If you thought the gun debate ended two weeks ago when the Senate voted against expanded background checks and a host of other gun-control measures, think again.

Gun-control advocates are reviving the issue at the state level through ads, town hall meetings, and shaming campaigns in an effort to get lawmakers to change their vote and the Senate to reconsider new gun laws.

New Hampshire and its junior senator, Kelly Ayotte (R), who voted against the gun bill and, notably, was the only senator from the Northeast to vote no on the provision to extend background checks to more gun buyers, have emerged as ground zero in that battle.

Back home in New Hampshire, Senator Ayotte is feeling the heat at town hall meetings, where gun-control advocates are expressing anger. Erica Lafferty, whose mother, Dawn, was gunned down by Newtown, Conn., shooter Adam Lanza in December, confronted Ayotte at a town hall meeting in Warren, N.H., Tuesday.

“You had mentioned ... the burden on owners of gun stores that the expanded background checks would harm. I am just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the halls of her elementary school isn't more important than that,” Ms. Lafferty asked.

We can’t imagine a more uncomfortable moment.

After expressing condolence for her loss, Ayotte said her position on gun laws hadn’t changed.

“As you and I both know, the issue wasn’t a background check system issue in Sandy Hook,” she said. “Mental health, I hope, is the one thing we can agree on going forward.”

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