Jim Gray says Sen. Rand Paul's vote against gun reform, NSA filibuster "dangerous" in new Web ad

06/19/2016 08:00 AM

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jim Gray is calling U.S. Sen. Rand Paul “dangerous” in a Web ad released Friday, targeting his opponent for voting against legislation that would prevent suspected terrorists from buying firearms and shutting down the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection program in a filibuster last year.

“With America under attack, when will Rand Paul vote to prevent terrorists from buying dangerous weapons?” a female narrator asks in the 30-second ad. “When will he change his vote to protect Kentucky? Paul’s filibusters and votes have handcuffed our counterintelligence efforts and allowed potential terrorists to buy semiautomatic weapons.”

The ad can be viewed here:

Gray’s line of attack comes in the wake of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., that left 49 dead on June 12. The gunman, Omar Mateen, had pledged allegiance to the militant terror group Islamic State in a phone call to 911 dispatchers before he was killed in a shootout with police.

The Lexington mayor criticized Paul’s decision to vote against legislation in December that would have prevented those listed on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s terror watch list from purchasing guns during a Wednesday press conference.

Gray said the effort would not have prevented law-abiding citizens from purchasing guns, adding that he supports universal background checks on all firearm sales but not reinstituting a ban on assault rifles.

The proposal, which came in the wake of a mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., by a couple also claiming allegiance to ISIS, also would not have prevented the massacre in Orlando.

Gray, who held up a copy of The Courier-Journal with headlines of the shooting during the press conference, conceded that the bill would not have prevented the deaths of the 49 nightclub patrons last week, but he called the effort “a step forward.”

Paul’s campaign notes that the Republican senator voted for a GOP counterproposal from Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, in December that would have allowed the U.S. attorney general to delay gun sales to suspected terrorists for 72 hours and given federal courts power to block the sales outright.

Both measures ultimately failed.

“Dr. Paul believes that no terrorist should be able to buy guns in the U.S., which is why he voted for legislation to do just that, while also preventing the Obama administration from stripping law-abiding Kentuckians of their constitutional rights,” Paul spokeswoman Kelsey Cooper said in a statement.

“Kentuckians deserve a Senator who will stand up and fight for their rights, not someone eager to double down on the anti-Kentucky Obama-Clinton agenda.”

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.


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