Anti-gun violence ad targets Sen. Flake

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Anti-gun violence group Mayors Against Illegal Guns is running a tough ad against Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), featuring the mom of an Aurora shooting victim who says Flake broke his promise to vote for expanded background checks.

The ad, titled "My Son," shows Caren Teves discussing the death of her son, 24-year-old Alex Teves, in the 2012 mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.

Caren Teves explains she and her husband wrote to Flake asking for his support and received a hand written letter in return.  She reads some of it aloud in the ad.

“Senator Flake wrote I'm sorry for your loss, strengthening background checks is something we agree on," said Teves.

Teves says she believed Flake was an ally in combating gun violence but he didn’t keep his promise.

“We were extremely let down,” said Teves. “I voted for the Senator, so did my husband. I respect him but I was very disappointed in his vote and I'm not the only one. Obviously the majority of Arizona was disappointed in his vote.”
We reached out to Senator Flake for comment but he was unavailable for an interview.  He did however post this comment on his Facebook page.

“Contrary to the ad, I did vote to strengthen background checks. I voted for the bipartisan Grassley Amendment, which included language from a bill I helped write which strengthened background checks for those with mental illness. The Grassley amendment also included language to increase prosecution of criminals and fugitives who circumvent the current background check system.”

The Teves family disagrees, pointing out his vote against a more restrictive, higher-profile Manchin-Toomey Amendment to expand background checks for firearm purchases. They say with the Grassley Amendment there are still loopholes.  Last week they had a chance to meet with the senator.

“I got to tell him our story, tell him about Alex,” said Teves. “Alex just went on a date to the movies and never came out. I wanted him to hear that because we don't all have our office behind bullet proof glass like he does.”

Teves explains the Senator’s response. 

“He listened. That's all I can say, he listened," said Teves.

But what they want is for Flake and the rest of Congress to act and pass tougher gun control legislation.

“This is a public safety issue they need to put politics aside,” said Teves.

Teves has started a foundation in her son's name, Alexander Charles Teves. The initials spell act, and that is what she hopes Congress will do and she wants them to know she will never give up this fight.