Martin O’Malley Super PAC Hits Bernie Sanders’ Record On Guns

The 2016 Democratic primary got a little chippy today with Martin O’Malley’s Super PAC taking one of the first big swings at another candidate. Generation Forward, the Super PAC set up to back the Maryland Governor for President, released a web video this morning criticizing Bernie Sanders’ past position on gun issues. The simple 15-second ad hit Sanders’ vote against the Brady Bill, his stance on protecting gun manufacturers from lawsuits, and noted that the NRA helped campaign against one of Sanders’ opponents.

Gun control has played second-fiddle in national discussion to racism and the Confederate flag in the aftermath of the Charleston shooting. But it’s still coming up often among Democratic candidates. That’s turned new attention to one of the few issues Sanders isn’t resolutely liberal on. A number of stories over the past week have examined how Sanders’ stance on gun control sets him apart from the rest of the field, and from his own solidly progressive record. Part of that comes from representing a very rural state, but it’s still causing some trepidation among Democrats.

O’Malley has been the most outspoken of the Democrats on gun control issues after Charleston, frequently pointing to his long history of combating the NRA and restricting guns in Baltimore and Maryland. He’s said he proudly earned an “F” from the NRA’s rating system.

A few days after the Charleston shootings, O’Malley sent out an email entitled simply “I’m Pissed,” which mentioned his past work on gun control:

I’m pissed that we’re actually asking ourselves the horrific question of, what will it take? How many senseless acts of violence in our streets or tragedies in our communities will it take to get our nation to stop caving to special interests like the NRA when people are dying?

I’m pissed that after working hard in the state of Maryland to pass real gun control—laws that banned high-magazine weapons, increased licensing standards, and required fingerprinting for handgun purchasers—Congress continues to drop the ball.

In a speech on Sunday at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, O’Malley called for more action on gun control measures. “I heard some elected official say this week: “laws can’t change this…” Actually, they can,” O’Malley said. “”In Maryland, we banned assault weapons and the kinds of high capacity weapons that exist only to inflict human casualties. We fixed the permitting process to ensure people didn’t hide behind straw-buyers. We need a national assault weapons ban. We need stricter background checks. And we need a nationwide commitment to keep straw-buyers from obtaining guns for others.”

Update: Sanders seems to respond to the attack in some tweets from this afternoon:

See the Super PAC video below:


by Pat Rynard
Posted 6/25/15

3 Comments on "Martin O’Malley Super PAC Hits Bernie Sanders’ Record On Guns"

  • From The Boston Globe article
    “Sanders voted against the landmark Brady bill, which required background checks and a waiting period before purchasing a firearm. He supported legislation allowing guns to be transported on Amtrak trains. He voted for a measure to protect gun manufacturers from lawsuits in cases of shootings.

    At other times, Sanders has supported gun control measures, including voting for a ban on assault weapons and supporting President Obama’s gun control package in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead in Connecticut.

    The National Rifle Association awarded Sanders an F rating in 2002 when he ran for reelection in the House of Representatives. The grade changed to a D+ in 2004; a C- in 2006 when he ran for the Senate; and, most recently, a D- for his 2012 reelection as senator”

    Vermont is a rural state with a lot of gun owners who own firearms for hunting. He voted his constituency which is what he is PAID to do.

    This is a non-issue.

  • The NRA has Bernie graded at somewhere between a D- to an F rating. I am sorry that you are not gaining ground O’malley, but stop trying to do it at the expense of a strong progressive like Bernie Sanders.

  • I have seen O’Malley once. He seems to have a lot of staff, and he is good on the stump, but I have never gotten the vibe from him that that he is serious about being POTUS. I think he is like most of the republican field: he is looking for a book deal and maybe a cabinet slot.

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