Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton will propose new gun control measures, including a vow to employ executive action to expand background checks for firearms sellers at gun shows and online.
Clinton will unveil her plans Monday during a campaign swing through New Hampshire. Her campaign says her proposals include a repeal of legislation shielding gun manufacturers, distributors and dealers from most liability suits, even in the case of mass shootings like the one that killed nine students and teachers at a community college on Thursday.
The proposals mark an attempt by Clinton to make up ground among the liberal wing of the Democratic party against her closest rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. While Sanders has wooed the Democratic base with his liberal positions on issues like income inequality and college debt, he’s struggled to defend a more mixed record on gun legislation–a reflection, he says, of his rural, gun-friendly home-state.
Sanders backed all the Democratic gun bills brought up in Congress after the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. But 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 now says he supports banning assault weapons and closing the so-called “gun show loophole” that exempts private, unlicensed gun sales from background checks.
Clinton, meanwhile, has made strict gun laws a centerpiece of her presidential campaign. Clinton has emerged as one of the fiercest proponents of tougher gun control after a series of shootings over the past several months has reignited debate over gun laws on the presidential campaign
“What is wrong with us, that we cannot stand up to the NRA and the gun lobby, and the gun manufacturers they represent?” Clinton said on Friday in Florida. “This is not just tragic. We don’t just need to pray for people. We need to act and we need to build a movement. It’s infuriating.”
Clinton also used the event to slam Republican lawmakers, who, she said, “refuse to do anything” about mass shootings.
“We need to make every politician who sides with [the NRA] to look in the eyes of parents whose kids have been murdered,” she said. “The GOP counts on a dedicated group that scares politicians and says ‘We will vote against you’ … So we will take them on. We took them on in 90s and we will do again.”