NH News
9:01 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Supporters, Critics Of Sen. Ayotte Clash At Town Hall Meeting

At a Town Hall Meeting in Tilton on Tuesday, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte field roughly a dozen questions from the audience, on topics ranging from immigration to Benghazi.

But none dealt directly with her recent vote against expanded background checks for gun sales, a measure that failed in the Senate.

Though it didn’t come up during the questions, the topic was clearly on the minds of those in attendance.

Before the meeting started, many held signs outside, either critical of Ayotte’s vote, or stating their support for her.

Linda Twombly of Nashua said she sides with the Senator.

“If you look at Connecticut, you look at Chicago, that have the strictest gun rules, what’s happened in their state? They have more murders, more crime caused by guns than we do.”

During a presentation, Ayotte brought up the recent mass shootings, and said she wants to strengthen current background check laws and improve the mental health system.

“I think we can all agree we’ve got very significant deficiencies in our mental health system and many of these situations that we’ve seen, we’ve seen a consistent theme of the perpetrator having significant mental health issues.”

Later during the event, two women held up signs critical of Ayotte’s vote. They were allowed to stay, but were blocked by a staff member as they tried to approach the Senator afterward.

Steve Merrill of Meredith said he was frustrated the issue wasn’t raised.

“How could she come to my town and not defend herself? That’s all I want. I wanted to hear her defense.”

Ayotte is scheduled to hold another town hall meeting in Fitzwilliam on Thursday.