Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the advocacy group co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is out with a new ad targeting Sen. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, over his vote against a failed measure to expand gun-purchase background checks last month.
The television ad, which will air on broadcast and cable in the Phoenix and Tucson markets through May 30, features Caren Teves, whose son, Alex, was killed in the July movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo.
Mrs. Teves reads from a letter Mr. Flake sent to her saying that strengthening background checks “is something we agree on.”
“The issue isn’t just background checks,” Mrs. Teves says in the spot. “It’s keeping your promise. And Senator Flake didn’t.”
Mr. Flake has said that he’s always supported background checks — just not the specific legislation introduced by Sens. Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, and Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat. He voted for a separate amendment authored by Sen. Charles Grassley, Iowa Republican, that would have increased resources for prosecutions of gun crimes.
That provision would improve and reauthorize grants for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) database and condition federal grant money for states on their submission of mental health records for NICS, among other measures.
Mr. Flake has also said he could reconsider his support for the Toomey-Manchin amendment, which would expand background checks to firearms sales online and at gun shows, if language on internet sales is changed. Currently, only federally licensed dealers are required to perform the checks.