The three candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination don't disagree on much - except, perhaps, on gun control.
Hillary Clinton, the front runner, has sought to showcase a clear difference with Bernie Sanders, her chief rival in the party’s 2016 primary.
In debates and at town hall-style events, the former secretary of State has assailed the senator from Vermont for his vote in favor of a 2005 law giving gun manufacturers and dealers immunity from product liability lawsuits. It’s a proposal that then-Sen. Clinton did not support.
“I think he has been consistently confusing to say that he would vote to repeal this absolute immunity from any kind of responsibility or liability,” she said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
The Dec. 2 massacre in San Bernardino and other recent mass shootings have brought gun violence back into the public spotlight, and renewed the debate over whether federal gun laws should be strengthened.
In a tearful speech at the White House last week, President Obama announced an executive action that calls for law enforcement officials to essentially warn private gun sellers that they may be vulnerable to prosecution if they don’t conduct background checks on gun buyers.
National polls have repeatedly shown that Americans support background checks on gun sales to help weed out felons and the mentally ill.
Sanders has said his vote on the 2005 measure was “complicated” and has said he’s open to revisiting the issue.
“If you have a small gun shop owner in northern Vermont who sells a gun legally to somebody and then, you know, something happens to that guy, he goes nuts or something, and he kills somebody, should the gun shop owner be held liable? I think not,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”
But if a manufacturer is sending guns “into an area and really knows that those guns are not being used or bought by the people in that area … should we hold that manufacturer liable? Absolutely,” he added.
On Sunday, seeking to bolster her standing among gun-control supporters, Clinton announced the endorsement of former Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona. Giffords was injured in a 2011 shooting outside a Tucson grocery store and ever since the incident she has been a staunch advocate of stricter gun-control reforms.
"Most of the people running for president talk a lot about how tough they are," Giffords wrote in her endorsement of Clinton. "But most of them have shown they aren’t tough enough to stand up to the gun lobbyists."
UPDATE: 4:05 p.m. This post was updated with information about Gabby Giffords' endorsement of Clinton.