Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., questions former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, President Obama's choice to lead the Pentagon, during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. Hagel faced strong Republican resistance and was forced to explain past remarks and votes even as he appeared on a path to confirmation as Obama second-term defense secretary and the nation's 24th Pentagon chief. Credit: AP
During a town hall event in Warren, N.H. on Tuesday, the daughter of slain Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung went after Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) for voting against expanding background checks on all firearms sales.
"You had mentioned that day the burden on owners of gun stores that the expanded background checks would cause," Erica Lafferty said during the town hall. "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."
"Erica, certainly let me just say that I'm obviously so sorry, and as everyone here no matter what our views are, for what you have been through," Ayotte replied, later adding that she wants to prevent that kind of mass shooting from ever occurring again.
The GOP senator went on to say that the Sandy Hook tragedy didn't happen because of a flawed "background check system." She stressed the importance of addressing mental health concerns moving forward.
Ayotte also offered to speak additionally with Lafferty and said she respected her differing viewpoint on background checks.
Lafferty ultimately stormed out of the room after the interaction, according to NBC News, because she "had had enough."
Watch the exchange below: