Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeRubio vows to slow-walk Biden's China, Spain ambassador nominees Senate confirms Thomas Nides as US ambassador to Israel Flake, Cindy McCain among latest Biden ambassadors confirmed after delay MORE (R-Ariz.) is pushing back against attack ads that say he broke his promise to support passing new gun laws.

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"If you are anywhere close to a television set in Arizona in the coming days, you’ll likely see an ad about gun control financed by NYC Mayor Bloomberg," Flake wrote Friday on his Facebook page. "Contrary to the ad, I did vote to strengthen background checks."

Flake is responding to ads from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's (I) group that supports tightening gun laws. Recent advertising by the group accuses Flake of breaking his promise to help pass expanded background checks.

Flake voted against an amendment co-sponsored by Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinFive reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season White House looks to rein in gas prices ahead of busy travel season Bernie Sanders' ex-spokesperson apprehensive over effectiveness of SALT deductions MORE (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) that would have expanded background checks to include firearms purchases at gun shows and over the Internet. But Flake says he did not break his promise because he supported an alternate gun control proposal by Sens. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyIowa Democrat drops bid to challenge Grassley after death of nephew Bipartisan senators press FBI, inspector general for changes following Nassar case McConnell looks for way out of debt ceiling box MORE (R-Iowa) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTed Cruz ribs Newsom over vacation in Mexico: 'Cancun is much nicer than Cabo' Biden expected to nominate Shalanda Young for budget chief O'Rourke seizes on Texas power grid in bid against Abbott MORE (R-Texas).


"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," Flake continued. "The Grassley amendment also included language to increase prosecution of criminals and fugitives who circumvent the current background check system.

"Mayor Bloomberg can spend millions trying to get me to support his view of background checks. That’s his call. But we Arizonans aren’t easily bullied. The legislation that would have done the most to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them was the Grassley amendment. And that’s the amendment I supported."

Flake is one of a number of lawmakers Mayors Against Illegal Guns has targeted on guns. The group has also begun airing gun ads directed at Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteSununu setback leaves GOP scrambling in New Hampshire The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - GOP dealt 2022 blow, stares down Trump-era troubles Sununu exit underscores uncertain GOP path to gain Senate majority MORE (R-N.H.). On Thursday, Ayotte sent out a fundraising email to supporters with a statement similar to Flake's.

"Michael Bloomberg and his liberal allies think their $700,000 smear campaign will pressure me into changing my vote on the Manchin-Toomey gun control bill," Ayotte wrote in the email, according to CNN. "They couldn't be more wrong. As a mother, I am 100 percent dedicated to fighting gun violence. But I also have the experience to know that expanding an already broken background check system will not prevent a deranged individual or criminal from obtaining and misusing firearms."

In response, Mayors Against Illegal Guns stuck with its criticism.

"Sen. Flake is obfuscating his position by citing his vote for a decoy bill created by the Washington gun lobby (Grassley-Cruz) that would have actually weakened the background check system and made it easier for dangerous people to get guns," the group said in a statement.

—This story was updated at 4:52 p.m.