Hillary Clinton blasts Congress for not voting on gun bill

Story highlights

  • Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton spoke at awards gala
  • Her gun control position stands in contrast to rival Bernie Sanders

(CNN)Hillary Clinton faulted leaders in the House and Senate on Thursday for not allowing a vote on a bill that would make it illegal for people on the government's no-fly list to legally buy guns.

Clinton -- speaking in New York at the Brady Bear Awards Gala at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence -- told the audience that it is "long past time to say enough" on gun violence.
"Leaders in the House and Senate won't even allow a vote on whether we should prevent people on the no-fly list from buying guns, including possible terrorists," Clinton said. "It is just beyond one's imagination; these are people too dangerous to be let on airplanes but Congress won't stop them from getting guns. It is just something that makes no sense."
    The comments come a day after Clinton, who has hit Republicans and Democrats on gun control throughout her presidential campaign, tweeted about the issue.
    "After the events in Paris and with thousands of gun deaths in the US each year, hard to fathom this from the GOP," Clinton wrote, linking to a New York Daily News story about the bill being blocked.
    GOP Rep. Peter King of New York has sponsored a bill that would make it illegal for people on the no-fly list to buy guns. But, so far, the bill has gone nowhere in Congress. King also sponsored the bill in 2010, after a Government Accountability Office study found that 91% of all gun purchases by people on the no-fly list are allowed.

    Contrasting with Sanders

    Clinton has made gun control a central part of her presidential message, in part because Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, her strongest Democratic primary opponent, has been more conservative than most of the Democratic party on the issue. Asked at the first Democratic debate if Sanders was tough enough on guns, Clinton simply said, "No, not at all."
    Last month, the former secretary of state pledged to close background check loopholes and allow victims to sue gun manufacturers if elected president.
    On Thursday, Clinton continued with the strategy of knocking Sanders on guns, telling the Brady Center audience that it is wrong when people say what we need in the gun debate is consensus, something Sanders said during the second Democratic debate earlier this month.
    "We already have consensus when it comes to gun violence in America," she said, not using Sanders' name. "The problem is not finding common ground; the problem is politicians finding courage."
    Sanders has argued that while he has taken conservative positions on some aspects in the gun rights debate -- namely allowing victims to sue gun manufacturers -- he has a similar record to Clinton.
    "I have voted time and again for the background checks," Sanders said earlier this month. "And I want to see it improved and expanded. I want to see them do away with the gun show loophole. ... I don't know that there's any disagreement here."