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Murphy Criticizes Sanders Over Sandy Hook Gun Lawsuit Comments

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn) criticized comments made by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on whether victims of gun violence can sue gun manufacturers.
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn) criticized comments made by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on whether victims of gun violence can sue gun manufacturers. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern, file

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) took to Twitter on Tuesday to criticize comments made by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) in a Daily News interview in which the presidential candidate said that victims of gun violence should not be able to sue gun manufacturers.

In a meeting with the Daily News Editorial Board , Sanders was asked whether the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting that took place in 2012 in Newtown should be able to sue gun manufacturers for damages.

"No, I don't," Sanders told the Daily News Editorial Board in the interview published Monday.

Murphy, who has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, criticized the Vermont senator's position in a series of tweets Tuesday.

"Bernie is a friend, but this is really bad. Dems can't nominate a candidate who supports gun manufacturer immunity," wrote Murphy . "Let's be clear - supporting restoring liability for sellers is not the same thing as restoring liability for gun makers."

Murphy has repeatedly voiced his support for Sandy Hook families and other victims of gun violence to be able to have their day in court. In January, he joined U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) and U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif) in introducing legislation that would repeal protection offered to gun manufacturers and sellers currently offered under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

“Making the gun industry immune from lawsuits effectively handed them a license to kill. Congress intentionally let gun makers and sellers off the hook for the murder and mayhem they knew would happen. And they looked the victims’ families in the eye and said ‘Tough luck. There’s nothing you can do about it’,” Murphy said in January. “The gun lobby doesn't own Congress like it used to - this legislation is essential to ending the firearms industry's grip on Washington.”

He reaffirmed his belief on Twitter Tuesday that families should be able to take legal action against manufacturers.

"For Sanders to say that the Sandy Hook families should be barred from court, even if the weapon was negligently made, is wrong," he tweeted.

Last week Murphy joined other supporters in launching Stamford for Hillary in an effort to aid the former Secretary of State's bid for president. In February he wrote an op-ed for the Hartford Courant in which he said that Clinton was tougher on gun laws than any other presidential candidate.

"Democrats cannot nominate a candidate who believes that toy gun makers should be held to a higher legal standard than real gun makers," Murphy tweeted Tuesday. "And if this isn't Sanders' position - if he supports full return of liability for sellers and makers, then he should clarify immediately."

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