Dem governor slams Sanders over gunmaker ‘shield’ law


Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) is seizing on a court battle between a gunmaker and families of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims to hit Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders.

The Democratic governor railed against Sanders on Monday for supporting a federal law that offered a legal shield for gunmakers. It’s a law that Sanders’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton vocally opposed when she served in the Senate. 

{mosads}“Senator Sanders has been to gun safety the same way Trump should be accounted for improvements in diplomacy,” Malloy said in a telephone briefing coordinated by the Clinton campaign.

He, along with Massachusetts attorney general and a South Carolina state senator, slammed Sanders for supporting a law that the National Rifle Association has declared its biggest legislative victory in 50 years.

Sanders has since said he backs legislation that would remove liability protections for gun manufacturers.

The comments from Malloy, a vocal Clinton supporter, come the same day that Bushmaster, the gunmaker that produced the rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in December 2012, sought protection in court under the 2005 federal immunity law.

The new attacks on the Vermont senator’s gun record also come one day before a televised Democratic town hall and one week before Super Tuesday, when 11 states will go to the polls.

“This is a protection that no other industry in America has, and they got in a way that they shouldn’t have gotten it,” Malloy said.

Malloy and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, both Clinton surrogates, see an opening with Bushmaster’s court appearance on Monday.

Lawyers representing the gunmaker are citing the 2005 law – which Sanders supported and Clinton opposed – to dismiss a lawsuit from Sandy Hook victims’ families.

The controversial 2005 federal immunity law protects gunmakers from most lawsuits over criminal use of their products.

The Sandy Hook families claim that Bushmaster Firearms knew, or should have known, the products would be used in inflict physical harm. The parent company of Bushmaster Firearms, a South Carolina-based company called Freedom Group, argues that it is protected by federal law.

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