Bernie Sanders waffles on closing ‘gun show loophole’ in upcoming Senate bill
Appearing on ABC’s This Week, 2016 Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders refused to fully back proposed legislation that would close gun purchase loopholes, saying he had some concerns as to how they would affect smaller rural gun shops.
Asked by host George Stephanopolous, how he would respond to Hillary Clinton’s challenge to support the closing of the so-called “Charleston loophole,” Sander’s cited his poor rating with the NRA before adding he supported some reforms but wanted to see some changes inserted into the law’s language.
“What I said months and months ago is that there were things in the liability bill that I liked, things that I didn’t like, wanted to take a look at it. This bill, there’s apparently a bill now that’s going to be introduced to review it, to make changes in it,” Sanders explained. “And I think the bill makes a lot of sense. So what we are — will do is be supportive of this legislation.”
“There is an amendment though that I want to see incorporated into it, which is non-controversial, which monitors the impact of small gun show — of gun shops in rural America,” he added. “Bottom line is that I think when a — when a gun shop sells a gun legally to somebody, and then something bad happens, I don’t think it’s fair to hold that –”
Sanders was interrupted by Stephanopolous who pressed him on the Charleston loophole — named after Charleston shooter Dylann Roof who was able to get his gun after five days despite an incomplete background check that would have denied him the weapon.
“Well, that one was a — you know, we’re going to take a look at that as well. But the issue here is that what my view has always been, and what is most important, is that we have a strong instant background check,” Sanders stated. “I have supported that from day one and I want to see that expanded and put — look, at the end of the day, what almost every American understands is we have got to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have those guns. That has been my position from as far back as I can remember.”
Despite receiving a poor scorecard from the NRA, Sandersn has been dogged by accusations that he is soft on gun control measures — with the senator stating that opinions on guns in the rural parts of his state of Vermont are not in line with opinions in other parts of the country.