Daughter of Newtown victim confronts Kelly Ayotte at town hall

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012
J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

The daughter of Newtown victim Dawn Hochsprung confronted Senator Kelly Ayotte for voting against expanding background checks at a contentious town hall meeting in New Hampshire, Tuesday, NBC News reported.

Erica Lafferty, whose mother was the principal of Sandy Hook, asked Ayotte to clarify her objections to the bill, which was supported by three quarters of New Hampshire voters in a recent poll.

“You had mentioned that day, the burden on owners of gun stores that the expanded background checks would cause… I’m just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the halls of her elementary school isn’t as important as that,” she asked.

“Erica, I, certainly let me just say—I’m obviously so sorry,” Ayotte responded. “And, um, I think that ultimately when we look at what happened in Sandy Hook, I understand that’s what drove this whole discussion—all of us want to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

The question came shortly after a shouting match broke out at the packed town hall. A resident from a nearby town demanded the right to ask a question without filling out the standard card, angering Ayotte supporters in the packed room.

More than 100 people on both sides of the debate had assembled for the senator’s first town hall since the controversial background check vote.

That vote has drawn national scrutiny, with the NRA releasing a radio ad this week praising Ayotte for voting against expanding background checks.

New Hampshire voters, however, don’t seem as pleased. Ayotte, along with other senators who voted against the popular background checks expansion, has suffered a drop in popularity since casting her no vote.

NBC News’ Kasie Hunt reported from the town hall meeting in Warren, New Hampshire. Watch Erica Lafferty describe her experience with Ayotte on the Last Word below.