Fox News reported on former Vice President Joe Biden recent attacks on Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for his record on gun control.
He specifically cited Sanders’s vote against the 1993 Brady Bill.
“Too many Republicans — and some Democrats, like Bernie Sanders — voted five times against the Brady Bill that I was passing,” Biden during a meeting in Nevada on Thursday, February 20, 2020 with the anti-gun group Moms Demand Action. “Five times against background checks and waiting periods.”
The Brady Act established a waiting period for handgun purchases and a federal background check on individuals who want to purchase handguns. Biden asserted that the legislation kept weapons out of the hands of three million potential criminals.
Sander voted for a bill in 2003 and 2005 that shielded gunmakers from lawsuits if their weapons were used in the middle of a crime. The National Rifle Association (NRA) backed Sanders’ 1990 congressional run for Vermont’s At-large district after his opponent, incumbent Republican Peter Smith, voiced his support for an assault weapons ban.
But ever since he became a presidential campaign in 2016, Sanders changed his tune on the need to expand background checks and ban assault weapons. Sanders said he would try to get gun owners to concede on certain aspects of gun control, although he admitted that “99.9 percent” would “never think” of using the weapons to commit crimes.
“You know, any one of you and the people behind me should be able to walk into a court of law and demand that gun manufacturers with their enormous profits be held accountable for the carnage that they’re responsible for inflicting on our society,” Biden said last Thursday.
Biden’s campaign recently released an Internet video of Sanders telling a radio caller in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre that letting people sue gun manufacturers would not do anything. Biden referenced Sanders’ support for a 2005 law protecting gun manufacturers from lawsuits during last Wednesday’s presidential primary debate. As recently as 2015, Sanders voted for this kind of legislation.
“It’s just flat-out immoral, it’s just flat-out immoral,” Biden said in describing lawmakers who vote against gun control legislation. When asked if he believed Sanders was immoral, Biden said: “I do think he’s changed his views and I’m happy about that.”
“Imagine if I stood up here and said… I’m going to vote to give immunity to tobacco companies, to drug manufacturers who poured nine billion opioids on the market,” Biden added.
If elected, Biden declared that on his first day in office he would urge Congress to introduce legislation repealing the liability immunity for gun manufacturers, tightening up background checks, and mandating waiting periods for all gun purchases.
Sanders’s previous pro-gun votes could be explained by the fact that Vermont used to be a very pro-gun state. After all, it was the first to state effectively adopt permitless carry through a State Supreme Court decision.
Nonetheless, the state has become very anti-gun as of late, especially after its current government passed gun control in the wake of the Parkland, Florida shooting.
As a result of this shift, Sanders has caught up and is now entertaining more hardline anti-gun views.
Sanders may have had a slightly pro-gun past, but now he has clearly made the transition toward anti-gun radicalism like the rest of his Democrat colleagues.