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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., greets members that the audience after speaking at a project stop in Hanover, N.H. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)


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In 1993, Sanders voted against the Brady Bill, a law that applied a five-day wait period.

In 2004, he voted for an assault weapon ban, and also in 2005, for a invoice that protected gun machines from lawsuits.

Since at the very least 2013, Sanders has consistently voted for stricter gun manage laws.


From health care to climate adjust to college tuition, Bernie Sanders has a lock on every an essential progressive democratic policy position, other than one — total control. That is now in action with whereby the party stands, yet 15 years ago, he wasn’t, and he proceeds to challenge questions about his past.

At the brand-new Hampshire presidential debate, panelist Adam Sexton captured Sanders’ mixed history.

"In the '90s, when you were in Congress, girlfriend voted against background checks and you likewise voted against a waiting period to acquisition a firearm," Sexton asked. "Can you explain why you protest these points that you now support?"

Sanders stated that vermont is a landscape state, and also in the past, he adhered to local sentiments.

"Until the last — two years back — we had actually virtually no gun regulate legislation in ~ all, and I represented that perspective," Sanders said. "The world has changed, and also my views have actually changed. And my see is ideal now, we require universal elevator checks. We finish the gun present loophole. We finish the so-called strawman provision. Us make particular that we end the sale and distribution of attack weapons in this country."

That is whereby Sanders is today. But to answer continuing questions, here’s a recap of whereby Sanders has stood on gun control.


Voted versus waiting periods and for protecting gun makers

Between 1991 and 2005, Sanders actors a number of votes that run versus current democratic priorities.

He opposed a mandatory waiting duration of 5 to seven days numerous times — double in 1991 and also twice in 1993. That 2nd 1993 poll was versus the above Brady Bill, i beg your pardon passed and also was signed right into law through President invoice Clinton. Named after James Brady, president Ronald Reagan’s press secretary, that was shoot in the head in an attempt to kill Reagan, the measure imposed a five-day waiting period before a handgun can be sold.

In April 1991, Sanders’ then-chief of employee Anthony Pollina called a reporter that Sanders was simply representing the will certainly of his constituents.

"Bernie’s solution is the he doesn’t simply represent liberals and progressives. He was sent to Washington come present every one of Vermont," Pollina said. "It’s no inappropriate for a congressman to assistance a bulk position, an especially on miscellaneous Vermonters have actually been very clear about."

Vermont’s autonomous Sen. Patrick Leahy additionally voted against the Brady Bill.

In 2003 and 2005, the firearms industry pressed for a legislation to defend gun makers and sellers native lawsuits. While not granting complete immunity, that did say that if a sale was legal and also there was no factor to think a weapon would be offered in a crime, then manufacturers and sellers would certainly be hosted harmless.

Sanders voted because that the invoice in both years.

Sanders’ democratic rivals have used this votes against him. Hillary Clinton did so in 2016, and Joe Biden has as well in the 2020 nomination race.

"While ns was pushing the Brady background bill — background checks — Bernie voted five times against it when he was in the House," Biden said in the brand-new Hampshire debate.

Including votes top top amendments, Biden’s number is accurate. Sanders has pressed because that tougher total controls since those times.


Votes because that an attack weapon ban, rolling back liability protections and also other measures

At a campaign rally in Milford, N.H., Sanders provided his gun violence agenda.

"Universal lift checks, ending the gun present loophole, and also ending the sale and also distribution of attack weapons in America," he stated Feb. 4.

Sanders voted for the first assault weapon ban in 1994. That doubled under in 2013, voting for amendments that reimposed the half that had actually expired, together with other stricter gun manage measures.

He remained on the track in 2019, co-sponsoring a Senate bill to ban the sale and ownership that semiautomatic assault weapons, along with a ban on high volume magazines.

Sanders likewise signed on come a measure the supported claims that pass so-called "red flag" regulations that would certainly temporarily take tools away from world judged through a court to be a risk to themselves or others.

He joined 29 democratic senators in co-sponsoring a 2019 invoice to keep guns out that the hands of world convicted of residential violence or stalking.

As because that the liability protection regulation he sustained in 2005, 14 years later, Sanders co-sponsored a invoice to turning back it.


A shift in tone

Sanders has actually navigated an problem that has actually played out differently in his house state than nationally. Vermont has many hunters and low prices of gun violence. But across the country, the atmosphere for stronger gun regulation has grown. In its polls, Gallup discovered the portion of human being saying gun regulations should be much more restrictive increased from 43% in 2011 come 64% in 2019.

In 2013, Sanders called the vermont publication seven Days that "if you passed the the strongest gun regulate legislation tomorrow, i don’t think the will have a profound impact on the tragedies we have actually seen."

Sanders’ campaign detailed that Sanders went on in the interview to support for total control, and also for the should push back against the pistol industry.

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In 2020, Sanders authorize a call to action.

"Every person, regardless of his or she politics, recoils in pain and disgust once we rotate on the TV and also see an additional mass shooting, and also and every one of us know the toll in America the gun violence has had." Sanders claimed in Milford. "Under ours administration, it would certainly be the American world who compose gun safety legislation, no the NRA."