Bernard "Bernie" Sanders is an American politician and the junior United States Senator from Vermont. A Democrat as of 2015, he had been the longest-serving independent in U.S. Congressional history. Sanders has been the ranking minority member on the Senate Budget Committee since January 2015. He is a candidate for President of the United States in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Bernie Sanders' position on gun control has been evolving and he now favors background checks. In 1993, he voted against the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which would have instituted a national criminal background check system. In 1997, he voiced his support for banning assault weapons, saying,“I'm pro-hunting, but no one needs an AK-47 to hunt."
After the San Bernardino shooting in December 2015, Bernie Sanders pointed out a number of specific legislative actions that have strong public support. He said that background checks need to be significantly improved and people with criminal background, because of mental problems, should not be able to purchase guns. He also said that assault weapons should be banned. Gun trafficking should be made a federal crime and there should be cracking down on proxies who purchase guns on behalf of those who can’t legally acquire them.
In the Michigan democratic debate on 6 March 2016, Bernie Sanders clashed with Hillary Clinton over trade, auto industry bailout and Wall Street. Sanders accused Hillary Clinton of backing trade deals that moved manufacturing jobs out of cities like Flint and Detroit and shifted them overseas.
On 3 December 2015, after the 2015 San Bernardino shooting, Bernie Sanders said that Congress ought to take action to stem gun violence. Paraphrasing President Barack Obama's call for additional gun control, Bernie Sanders said that just because it is not an easy problem to solve does not mean that we should not do everything that we can.