FLORENCE, South Carolina — Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton made support of tougher gun control laws part of her closing argument Thursday ahead of this state’s primary election in two days.
Tapping into lingering anguish from last year’s mass shooting at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, Mrs. Clinton promised to carry on President Obama’s fight for expanded background checks to buy firearms.
“Imagine a tomorrow where we have common-sense gun safety measures that will save lives, that will protect Americans going about their daily business,” she told a crowd of supporters here at Cumberland United Methodist Church.
She told a story about an elderly brother and sister in South Carolina who were shot as they walked to a corner grocery store to buy a sandwich.
“What have we come to?” she asked.
Mrs. Clinton was joined at the rally by gun control advocate Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Both men delivered speeches that included stories of tragic shooting deaths and called for new laws intended to keep firearms out of the hands of killers. Both also noted that Mrs. Clinton’s rival, Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, had voted against the Brady Bill that established the first national background check system and in favor of legislation that granted firearm manufacturers immunity from lawsuits over gun violence.
That spared Mrs. Clinton from having to mention Mr. Sanders, although she promised that if elected president she would work to repeal the immunity law.
She also vowed to stand up to the “corporate gun lobby.”
“The most powerful lobby in Washington is the gun lobby,” said Mrs. Clinton.