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SC – GUN POLITICS – Sanders’ complicated history on gun control

At Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate, the audience booed Sen. Bernie Sanders after a rival noted his vote for a 2005 bill that shielded gun manufacturers and dealers from being held liable for crimes committed with weapons they made and sold. Sanders launched into a full-throated response to the attack, acknowledging he had cast a “bad vote,” but disputing the idea that he had been soft on gun issues and had opened the door for high-powered weapons to be used in mass shootings. “Because of all these disgusting and horrific mass shootings, the American people now understand that we must be aggressive on gun safety, not be dictated to, by the NRA,” Sanders said. “I am proud that I have a D-minus voting record from the NRA — if elected president, it will get worse than that.” The issue has the potential to dog the Democratic front-runner, who has spent a career navigating a nuanced course on gun control measures popular with many primary voters, but less appealing to his constituents in rural Vermont. In a 1991 letter he wrote to a gun shop owner in Burlington, obtained by ABC News and not previously reported, Sanders put his mixed feelings about gun control measures into words. Over the course of the letter, Sanders writes that he is against a “one-size-fits-all policy,” that he “opposed the ‘Brady Bill … [and] the seven-day waiting period.” He writes that he would “support an assault weapons ban” so long as it did not permit Treasury Department officials to add additional models of weapons to the ban and providing the ban expired in three years.  [full article]


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