Bernie Sanders’ History Of Voting Against Gun Control Could Become A Major 2020 Issue
Senator Bernie Sanders is one of the leading contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination but as a serious challenger to President Donald Trump, his past is coming under increased scrutiny. The Vermont senator has a history of opposing gun control – something that could cost him votes.
Vermont has a strong hunting culture and high gun ownership, so it might be no surprise that Sanders has supported gun rights in the past. However, for a politician known to be principled, Sanders’ voting record on guns could become a political flash point.
In 2005, when Sanders was a congressman, he voted in favor of a bill that protected gun manufacturers from lawsuits. The law was backed by the National Rifle Association and aimed to limit victims’ ability to sue. Though Sanders has suggested repealing the law, he is the only major Democratic candidate to have supported it.
Sanders also opposed a national background check system and federal funding to investigate gun violence. He voted against the 1993 Brady Bill several times. That bill established a national system of background checks for gun purchases.
While Sanders has changed his position on guns, calling for background checks and research funding into gun violence, he may have to publicly discuss his long-held opposition to gun control measures. As former Vice President Joe Biden will be forced to reckon with past actions and votes, so will Sanders.