Washington (CNN) The nation’s largest gun organization unleashed a broadside against Hillary Clinton on Friday, charging that she supports confiscating Americans’ guns.
Clinton, who has recently called out the National Rifle Association for its opposition to gun-control laws in the wake of the deadly college shooting in Oregon, said at a town hall in Keene, New Hampshire, that she was open to gun buyback programs, but did not endorse them.
“I think it would be worth considering doing it on the national level if that could be arranged,” she said in response to a question about Australia’s nationwide buyback initiative that began in 1996.
That was enough to agitate the NRA, a powerful force in Washington that has successively suffocated recent attempts to limit gun ownership or manufacturing.
“This validates what the NRA has said all along. The real goal of gun control supporters is gun confiscation,” Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement Friday. “Hillary Clinton’s extreme views are completely out of touch with the American people.”
Clinton has looked to parlay her advocacy on guns in recent weeks as part of an effort to draw a contrast with Bernie Sanders, a Vermont senator whose past votes on guns are considered a potential liability with his otherwise supportive liberal base. It was announced Friday that she is scheduled to receive an award from a leading gun control group, the Brady Center, next month.
On the trail, Clinton now takes frequent shots at the NRA and says it shows she’s a tough fighter for progressive values.
“The fight against the NRA should be led by a new organization of gun owners,” she said in Keene. “There is really no other industry in America that has this kind of blanket permission to be reckless to be negligent.”