Days after a deadly shooting in Oregon, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton unveiled gun control measures aimed at strengthening background checks on gun buyers and eliminating legal immunity for sellers.
During a daylong campaign swing through New Hampshire, Clinton proposed a repeal of legislation that shields gun manufacturers, distributors, and dealers from most liability suits, even in the case of mass shootings like the one that killed nine people at a community college last Thursday.
Clinton has made tightening gun laws a centrepiece of her presidential campaign, vowing she would use her executive power as president to expand background checks for sellers at gun shows and online and back legislation banning domestic abusers from purchasing guns.
She also backed congressional efforts to stop retailers from selling guns to people with incomplete background checks, as happened when Dylann Roof, the man charged in the Charleston church shooting, bought his gun.
“I will try every way I can to get those guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” she told voters gathered for a town hall meeting in Hollis, New Hampshire.
“We need to prevent these kinds of crimes that are happening.”
The plan marks an effort by Clinton to stake out liberal ground against her closest rival, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders.
While Sanders has wooed the Democratic base with his liberal positions on issues such as income inequality and college debt, he has struggled to defend a more mixed record on gun legislation, a reflection, he says, of his rural, gun-friendly home-state.
— AFP news agency (@AFP) October 5, 2015
After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2013, Sanders backed all the Democratic gun bills brought up in Congress.
However, in 1993, he voted against the landmark Brady handgun bill, which imposed a five-day waiting period for gun purchasers, and he backed the 2005 legislation granting legal immunity to many in the gun industry.
Sanders supports banning assault weapons and closing the so-called ‘gun show loophole’ that exempts private, unlicensed gun sales from background checks.
Clinton declined to directly go after that record yesterday, saying she would let “Senator Sanders talk about himself”.
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