Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed members of the National Rifle Association (NRA) are not the “enemy” of gun control, but rather gun manufacturers are.
The Democrat frontrunner made the remarks on Thursday at the first presidential primary debate when asked how he would combat gun violence.
“I am the only person that has beaten the NRA nationally,” Biden said, touting his work in the 1990s on passing the Brady Bill and the assault weapons ban.
The former vice president proceeded to say he supported a comprehensive approach to gun violence, including more money for gun buyback programs and “smart guns.”
“No gun should be able to be sold unless your biometric measure can pull that trigger,” Biden said. “It’s within our right to do that, we can do that. Our enemy is the gun manufacturers, not the NRA.”
After the debate, Biden’s campaign doubled down on the comments over social media.
“The members of the NRA are not our opponents — the vast majority of them support common-sense reforms, including universal background checks,” Biden’s campaign tweeted. “The gun manufacturers who bankroll the NRA are our opponent. As president, Biden will defeat them.”
The members of the NRA are not our opponents — the vast majority of them support common-sense reforms, including universal background checks. The gun manufacturers who bankroll the NRA are our opponent.
As president, Biden will defeat them.#DemDebate
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 28, 2019
Unlike Biden, however, most of the other Democrats running for president have castigated the NRA and its membership. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) recently called the group the “worst organization” in the country while discussing the Virginia Beach shooting at a town hall.