Hillary Clinton’s most recent attack on Bernie Sanders — in which she claimed that his home state of Vermont is the source of “many” of the guns used in New York crime — is inaccurate and nothing more than campaign rhetoric, a prominent Clinton superdelegate said Tuesday.
“It is campaign season, therefore, things are sometimes said by all the candidates that sometimes aren’t entirely accurate,” Vermont Gov. Peter Schumlin told reporters Tuesday.
He was responding to comments Clinton made during a closed-door meeting the day before with Democratic lawmakers and lobbyists in Albany, N.Y.
“She said that it’s going to be coming out in the very near future that many of the catastrophes that have taken human lives in the State of New York have been the product of guns coming over the border from Vermont,” New York State Sen. Tim Kennedy told Politico’s Capital New York of Clinton’s remarks.
Clinton has relentlessly hammered Sanders on the gun issue. She has cited his support in 2005, as a member of the House, for a bill that would prevent lawsuits against gun manufacturers and sellers. The claims about Vermont, which has relatively relaxed gun laws, go further and are meant to generate guilt by association for Sanders.
“I would just say this, I think you’d have a hard time convincing Vermonters that New York’s crime problems are coming from Vermont,” Schumlin said Tuesday.
Federal statistics undermine Clinton’s claim. Data collected by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives show that of the guns recovered by police in New York, less than one percent came from Vermont. (RELATED: Hillary’s Latest Anti-Gun Attack On Bernie Is Not Backed Up By Federal Data)
In 2014, out of 7,686 firearms recovered and traced in New York, only 55 were first purchased in Vermont.
That’s compared to 371 that came from neighboring Pennsylvania.
In 2013, 61 of the 8,539 guns recovered and traced in New York came from Vermont.
It is unclear what data Clinton is using for her claim, but her campaign has indicated that she will continue to make it. Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, repeated the line of attack during an interview Tuesday morning on CNN. Clinton and Sanders will debate in Brooklyn, N.Y. on April 14.