Bernie Sanders backs away from 2005 gun vote – CNN

In supporting the legislation, Sanders also said he would propose an amendment to the bill that “would require the Commerce Department to monitor and report on the law’s impact in rural areas on the availability of hunting supplies, including firearms, sold by non-negligent local gun stores.”

Last year, however, Sanders aides said that if given the chance to vote for the bill again, he would likely vote the same way. Despite that history, Sanders’ top aide denied that the change announced Saturday was a reversal.

“This is not a flip flop,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager. “This is consistent with the position he held earlier in the campaign.”

Clinton’s campaign does not agree.

John Podesta, Clinton’s top campaign aide, tweeted Saturday that the campaign “welcomes Senator Sanders’ debate-eve conversion, reversing his vote to immunize gun manufacturers.”

Guns have been a nagging issue for Sanders ever since he declared his candidacy last year. At first, he declined to talk about the issue at length, telling reporters in Las Vegas that he would talk about the issue when he chose to.

As the race heated up, Clinton and her aides began to hit Sanders on the issue, using it as a wedge against Sanders as he struggled to explain old votes at odds with the Democratic base’s views.

Clinton released an ad last week that lined the 2016 candidate up with President Barack Obama on guns and challenged Sanders to “pick a side” on the issue.

“It is time to pick a side,” Clinton says in a not-so-subtle dig at Sanders. “Either we stand with the gun lobby, or we join the President and stand up to them. I am with him. Please join us.”

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