Politics

This Is What A Real Debate Looks Like: Democrats Face Off On Guns

CREDIT: AP Photo/John Locher

Democratic presidential candidates from left, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee take the stage during the CNN Democratic presidential debate Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in Las Vegas.

It’s official: The first Democratic presidential debate is not boring.

Not only is it not boring, Tuesday’s debate also featured a number of substantive policy-oriented exchanges between the five candidates, highlighting stark differences between them. The first of those exchanges was on gun control, where each candidate takes a slightly difference stance.

The first exchange was, predictably, about the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), a law passed in 2005 that gave gun manufacturers and dealers broad immunity from being sued. Sanders voted to pass that bill, while Clinton voted against it. They faced off on that issue, before going on to debate background checks, comprehensive gun safety legislation, and the reality of trying to compromise with Republicans to pass laws with a country divided on the issue.

Watch the full, 5-minute exchange between the candidates here:

The discussion of PLCAA was particularly timely; Earlier on Tuesday, a Wisconsin court found a gun store liable for its role in an illegal gun sale, which ultimately led to two police officers getting shot in the face. Attorneys say the ruling could make it easier for plaintiffs to sue gun stores when they negligently participate in an illegal gun sale.