Progressives will continue attacking Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., in a new ad campaign for his vote against a bill that would expand background checks for gun purchases.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, or PCCC, a political action committee, will launch a new television ad on Wednesday to up the pressure on Baucus to support gun control legislation that would expand background checks to include gun shows and online sales.
The new ad features Claire Kelly, a gun-owning grandmother from rural Stevensville, Mont., calling on the senator to keep guns out of the wrong hands. It will run for a week in Montana and then on cable in Washington, D.C., on MSNBC and CNN, according to PCCC.
Supporters of the background checks bill have argued that its passage will make it harder for criminals and the mentally ill to get guns.
“I’ve been the victim of a home invasion,” Kelly said in the video. “I hid my girls in a closet, called for help, aimed my handgun at the door and waited. Guns can protect us, but we’re less safe with guns in the wrong hands.”
A survey by Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that 79 percent of voters in Montana support background checks.
“Some gun issues may be controversial, but background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals is not one of them,” Adam Green, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee's co-founder, said in a statement. “Another vote will happen in the Senate. Max Baucus needs to choose whether he stands with the overwhelming majority of Montanans who support background checks or the gun manufacturers that profit by selling guns to criminals.”
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who co-sponsored the background checks legislation, has publicly expressed plans to make another push. The Senate rejected the measure earlier this month, 54 to 46. Baucus was one of four Democrats to vote against the measure.
When asked about his vote, the longtime senator with an “A”-rating from the National Rifle Association told NPR he is “just a hired hand” fulfilling his constituents' will.
“I believe very, very strongly that when you serve, you serve the entire state,” he said. “I agree with the majority of people in Montana.”
Senator Baucus, who was up for re-election next year, has since announced he's retiring and that he will not run in the 2014 midterm election.
“Senator Baucus, now that you’re retiring, please put Montana first,” Kelly said in the ad.
Correction: This story has been updated with the correct spelling of Claire Kelly’s last name.