Sanders Camp Hits Hillary On Her History Of Gun Flip Flops

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton accused Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at the CNN Democrat debate Tuesday night of not being tough enough on gun control, but the Sanders campaign later hit back showing Clinton’s own flip flops on guns.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Clinton if she thought Sanders is tough enough on guns.

CLINTON: No, not at all. I think that we have to look at the fact that we lose 90 people a day from gun violence. This has gone on too long and it’s time the entire country stood up against the NRA. The majority of our country…


… supports background checks, and even the majority of gun owners do.

Senator Sanders did vote five times against the Brady bill. Since it was passed, more than 2 million prohibited purchases have been prevented. He also did vote, as he said, for this immunity provision. I voted against it. I was in the Senate at the same time. It wasn’t that complicated to me. It was pretty straightforward to me that he was going to give immunity to the only industry in America. Everybody else has to be accountable, but not the gun manufacturers. And we need to stand up and say: Enough of that. We’re not going to let it continue.


COOPER: We’re going to bring you all in on this. But, Senator Sanders, you have to give a response.

SANDERS: As a senator from a rural state, what I can tell Secretary Clinton, that all the shouting in the world is not going to do what I would hope all of us want, and that is keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have those guns and end this horrible violence that we are seeing.

I believe that there is a consensus in this country. A consensus has said we need to strengthen and expand instant background checks, do away with this gun show loophole, that we have to address the issue of mental health, that we have to deal with the strawman purchasing issue, and that when we develop that consensus, we can finally, finally do something to address this issue.

The Sanders campaign, however, pointed to other moments where Clinton changed her mind on the Second Amendment in a press release issued during the debate.

During her 2000 run for Senate, Clinton said on CNN, “I stand in support of this common sense legislation to license everyone who wishes to purchase a gun,” Clinton said. “I also believe that every new handgun sale or transfer should be registered in a national registry, such as Chuck is proposing.”

In 2004, during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Tim Russert asked her about her stance on a national registry.

MR. RUSSERT: But in 2000, Senator, you said, “I stand in support of a common[sense] legislation to license everyone who wishes to purchase a gun and believe that every new handgun or sale or transfer should be registered in a national registry.” You still support that?

SEN. CLINTON: You know, Tim, I said that in part because what we do in New York is license. And you know what? There are a lot of folks in New York who have a lot of guns. Nobody’s missed a single day hunting or target shooting or collecting. You know, I understand the political realities and we have to obviously deal with that. I support the Second Amendment, but I also think that when it comes to guns ending up in the hands of criminals, terrorists, people who are unfortunately mentally unbalanced, you know, we ought to be smart about this. The safety of the majority of people who are going about their daily business should be taken into account.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Clinton said during an ABC News Democratic debate, “What I favor is what works in New York. You know, we have a set of rules in New York City and we have a totally different set of rules in the rest of the state. What might work in New York City is certainly not going to work in Montana. So, for the federal government to be having any kind of, you know, blanket rules that they’re going to try to impose, I think doesn’t make sense.”

Clinton also responded to remarks made by then-Sen. Obama about people who have firearms.

“I disagree with Sen. Obama’s assertion that people in our country cling to guns and have certain attitudes about trade and immigration simply out of frustration…,”Clinton said. “You know, my dad took me out behind the cottage that my grandfather built on a little lake called Lake Winola outside of Scranton and taught me how to shoot when I was a little girl…”

She added, “You know, some people now continue to teach their children and their grandchildren. It’s part of culture. It’s part of a way of life. People enjoy hunting and shooting because it’s an important part of who they are. Not because they are bitter.”

“I was taken aback by the demeaning remarks Senator Obama made about people in small-town America… Senator Obama’s remarks are elitist and out of touch. They are not reflective of the values and beliefs of Americans, certainly not the Americans that I know… Americans who believe in the Second Amendment believe it’s a matter of a constitutional right, Americans who believe in God believe it’s a matter of personal faith.”