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Ayotte votes no on gun sale background checks

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, voted against a Senate proposal Wednesday to require background checks on all commercial sales of guns, saying she felt it was the wrong approach to curbing gun violence and had the potential for too much government involvement in legitimate private firearms sales.

"I believe that restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners will not prevent a deranged individual or criminal from obtaining and misusing firearms to commit violence," Ayotte said in a release.

Ayotte said while improvements are needed to the existing background check system, she would not support the bipartisan compromise, which fell six votes short of the 60 it needed to advance in the Senate.

"There are responsible steps that can be taken to stop criminals and others who are already prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law from obtaining them," she said.

Ayotte said she believed the proposed legislation "would place unnecessary burdens on law-abiding gun owners and allow for potential overreach by the federal government."

Ayotte said she is co-sponsoring two other measures she feels are better solutions. One would reauthorize and improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and increase resources for prosecuting gun crimes. The other calls for increased awareness of mental illness and the effectiveness of mental health care throughout the country.

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