Democrat and White House hopeful Bernie Sanders on Thursday called on funding of gun study at the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 20 years after he had voted against the same funding for gun research.
According to Reuters, Sanders’ 2016 Elections campaign issued a statement saying “We must authorize resources for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study and research the causes and effects of gun violence in the United States of America.”
The email his campaign has sent comes after a series of mass shootings in the United States, first in Colorado and the most recent one on Wednesday in San Bernardino, California where a gunman killed 14 people.
Bernie Sanders, a U.S. Senator of Vermont, was a Congressional representative in 1996 when the Congress, while being urged by gun rights activists, had to put restrictions on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s funding for gun research in the federal budget of 1996. Sanders voted against an amendment that failed, that would have given authorization to the Center for this kind of research.
Sanders also has a track record of supporting gun manufacturers, with him supporting a 2005 federal law that shields manufacturers, dealers and distributors from civil liability in case of mass shootings and even voted against the 1993 Brady Bill that put compulsory background checks and a waiting period for gun purchase.
He is protective of the Vermont residents who are very pro-gun rights, but according to Reuters, his campaign has stated that Sanders is in favor of “sensible gun-control legislation” and that his work in the Senate has been proven by voting in favor of the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines right after the 2012 Connecticut elementary school mass shooting.
Gun control has come out as one of the central elements in the Presidential race, especially in the Democratic primary race between Sanders, frontrunner Hillary Clinton and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. All of them are urging for tighter gun laws, especially Hillary Clinton, who is easily wooing the endorsement of gun control activists. On the other hand, Sanders has been followed by criticism by gun control activist groups from the very day he has announced his candidacy for President.
According to the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll from Tuesday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has earned the support of 50 percent of Democrats, while Senator Bernie Sanders is trailing behind her with 36 percent of those surveyed.