- REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton laid out a broad vision Monday to reduce gun violence in the US in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at a community college in Oregon.
The former US secretary of state’s campaign rolled out an expansive gun-control policy platform as part of the candidate’s campaign swing through New Hampshire.
“It’s time to act on gun violence. We simply cannot accept as normal 33,000 gun deaths a year,” Clinton tweeted Monday.
Clinton has been outspoken on the issue throughout her campaign, expressing exasperation after several mass shootings and calling for policy fixes like universal background checks on gun purchases.
But many of Monday’s proposals go further than what she has advocated or supported in the past.
Here’s a look at some of Clinton’s proposals:
Universal federal background checks. Clinton said she supports the 2013 US Senate bill expanding background checks on gun purchases, which most Republicans argue will not prevent determined individuals from getting their hands on guns. Polls have found that background checks enjoy broad support among most Americans. Close various loopholes. Clinton’s proposal cited several laws that allow individuals to purchase guns without undergoing existing background checks that look to ensure that gun purchasers do not have a history of court-documented mental illness. The proposal would end the “Charleston loophole” – referring to a shooting earlier this year in South Carolina – a quirk that allows gun sales to go through if a check is not completed within three days. Repeal a law protecting gun manufacturers from lawsuits. The law is fairly complicated, but gun manufacturers have certain special protections that prevent victims of gun violence from suing for negligence. Expand inspections of gun dealers.Criminalize purchasing guns on behalf of those barred from buying guns themselves. Clinton proposes criminalizing “straw purchases,” in which individuals buy guns and provide them to individuals who cannot pass background checks themselves. Block convicted domestic abusers from buying and possessing guns.Improve laws blocking individuals suffering from mental illness from obtaining weapons. This is possibly an area that she could find compromise – gun-rights groups like the National Rifle Association have presented improved gun-control databases as the solution to curbing mass shootings, though many Democrats say this alone does not go far enough.
And the platform unveiled Monday also a contrasts Clinton with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), her main rival for the Democratic nomination.
Though Sanders and Clinton agree on many gun-control proposals, such as closing the so-called gun-show loophole on background checks, Sanders’ somewhat checkered history on the issue allows Clinton to stake out a position to his left.
Sanders supported recent Senate legislation expanding background checks, but during his time in the US House of Representatives, he voted against the 1993 Brady bill, which required background checks for gun purchases. As The Washington Post reported, the NRA actually aided Sanders in his first congressional race based on his promise to oppose a waiting period on gun purchases.