Democratic Candidates Debate Gun Control Laws

The candidates discuss the most important issues at the ABC News Democratic presidential debate.
7:49 | 12/20/15

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Transcript for Democratic Candidates Debate Gun Control Laws
Secretary Clinton in the wake of the San Bernadine no attack. You all emphasized got to control but our latest poll shows that more Americans believe. Arming people not stricter gun laws is the best defense against terrorism. Are they wrong. Well I think you have to look at both the and terrorism challenge that we face abroad and certainly at home. And the role that guns play in delivering the violence that stalks us. Clearly we have to have a very specific set of actions to take you know when senator Sanders talked about a coalition I agree with him about that we've got to build a coalition abroad we also to build a coalition at home. Abroad we need a coalition that is going to take on crisis I know how hard that is. I know that it isn't something you just. Hope people will do and I territory Donovan restricting gun could yet I'm aren't that rock I'm getting to that because I think if you only think about the coalition abroad you're missing the main point which is we need a coalition here at home. Guns in and of themselves in my opinion will not make Americans safer. We lose 33000. People a year already to gun violence. Arming more people. To do watch I think is not the appropriate response to terrorism. I think. It's creating much deeper. Close our. Relations and yes coalitions within our own country. The first line of defense against radicalization. Is in the Muslim American community. People who we should be welcoming and working with. I worried greatly that the rhetoric coming from the Republicans particularly Donald Trump. Is sending a message to Muslims here in the United States and literally around the world. That there is a clash of civilizations. That there is some kind of western plot or even war against Islam. Which is then I believe fans the flames of radicalization so. Guns have to be looked at as its own problem but we also have to figure out how we're going to deal with the radicalization here in the united on this afternoon. Just want to wait just a moment please governor Mali's. Senator Sanders we've seen those long lines of people buying guns in record numbers after the Paris attacks. Would you discourage. People from buying guns. It's a country in which people choose the bar gonzo I think definitely more than half the people in my own state of Vermont my guess here in the Hampshire. All gone owns a that's the right of people but this is what I do believe. I believe that we have some 300 million guns in this country. I believe them what we have seen these horrific. Mass killings. Not only in San Bernardino but in Colorado and and and movie theaters in Colorado. I think we have talked to bring together at the vast majority of the people. Who do in fact believe in sensible gun safety regulations for example. Talking about polls poll recently came out overwhelming majority the American people say we should strengthen the instant background checked. Who denies that it is crazy. Crazy. People to all in God's war criminals or mentally unstable. We got eliminate the gun show loophole in my view. We have got to see. That weapons designed by the military to kill people. But not in the hands of civilians I think they're easily could sexes. That everybody is an agreement it's a divided country are gods but there is a broad consensus on sensible gun safety. Regulations. That by coming from a state that it's virtually no gun control will do my best to bring together. Martha thank buys ten and that sort of you know we wanted to sometimes amity and as he's accused of governor separates southern Oregon State's David excuse me no. Governor now don't we outlawed by the right here we'll call or zero early days you wanna pick up and actually passed comprehensive gun safety legislation with the ban on combat assault weapons David and look there profound depth. Voted against the Brady bill senator Sanders voted to give immunity to gun dealers. And senator Sanders voted against Stephen research dollars to look into this public health issue Secretary Clinton changes her position on this. Every election year it seems having one position in 2000. And then campaigning against President Obama and saying we don't need federal standards look. What we need on this issue is not more polls. We need more principle when I sold us training videos that say the easiest way to get a combat assault weapon in the United States of America has at a gun show. Then we should all be waking up we need comprehensive gun safety legislation. Now let me so let us stay with gun control for a minute then. You talk about assault weapons even if you were able to ban the purchase of assault weapons tomorrow Americans already own an estimated seven to ten million semi automatic rifles. Would you make it illegal to on those weapons forced people to turn the man. And if not how would banning the sales really make a different. Because Martha it would prevent people like the guy that just got charged yesterday. Perhaps from being able to pie combat assault weapons you know we are the only nation. Only developing yeah. Talking about buying went you have them confiscated the ones that are already here no Martha I would not and that's not what we did in Maryland that you know we did in Maryland. We overcame the NRA's objections we overcame all of the crowds that were coming down there we did our own rallies and at least if we enact these laws and a prospective way. We can address some major vulnerability in our country. Cecil videos I still training videos are telling lone wolves the easiest way to conned by combat assault weapon and America is at a gun show and it's because of the flip flopping political approach of Washington that both of my two colleagues on this stage of represented there over the last forty years Wu we need. Yeah let's get that's telling. Let's tell the truth Martan. I am telling us thought let's beta you have some rules he or commentators we will. Just established that for you senator really quickly governor we are gonna call on you tonight it's very clear you the lot to say but please wait until your called upon senator he invoked you're. You're record did not respond invoked mindful of its there was a lot of units across her back. Art first thought. We can do all the Gregg speeches we walked again couldn't succeed unless there is a consensus. In 1988. Just the set the record straight up and up. I ran through the US house we will one house member from Vermont. Three candidates in the race one candidate said you know what I don't think it's a great idea. That we sell automatic weapons of this country that are used by the military to kill people very rapidly. But people say there were three candidates in the race you vocal one of the office but not Bernie Sanders I bought that election by three percentage points. Like likely for that reason so please do not explain to me. Topic for a state where democratic governors and Republican governors have supported virtually no gun control and the dogs had let me say it's going to be wrong do not tell that he had let not. Show. It say they've got to the god people in voting. The ban assault weapons. Voting for instant background checks voting to end the gun show loophole at now in a position to great a consensus in America on God's sake senator thing.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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