The debate’s moderator, Anderson Cooper, asked Clinton if the Vermont senator was tough enough on guns.
“No, not at all,” Clinton responded -– coming out of the gate strong on one of the only issues where she is considered to the left of Sanders.
“Senator Sanders did vote five times against the Brady Bill,” she continued. She also said he voted for a bill that helped protect the gun industry, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
“He also did vote as he said for this immunity provision. I voted against it," Clinton said. "I was in the senate at the same time. It wasn't that complicated to me. It was pretty straightforward to me that he was going to give immunity to the only industry in America.”
In response to the criticism, Sanders defended his record, but focused on the need to build consensus across the aisle, saying he is from a rural state.
“What I can tell Secretary Clinton, that all the shouting in the world is not going to do what I would hope all of us want,” he continued.
In the past, Sanders voted against the Brady Bill and for a bill that "protects gun manufactures from lawsuits from victims of gun violence."
At the CNN debate on Tuesday, held at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas, Cooper asked Sanders whether he believes that gun manufactures should be free from liability.
“Of course not,” Sanders said. “Do I think that a gun shop in the state of Vermont that sells legally a gun to somebody, and that somebody goes out and does something crazy, that that gun shop owner should be held responsible? I don't.”
“On the other hand,” he continued, “Where you have manufacturers and gun shops knowingly giving guns to criminals or aiding and abetting that, of course, we should take action.”
The exchange between the two candidates was the most aggressive Clinton has been yet on challenging Sanders.
Both candidates have said they have no desire to attack each other, but at the first debate on Tuesday they were quick to seize on policy differences.