US & Canada

Hillary Clinton wants gun firms liable for shootings

Mrs Clinton speaks at an event in Florida on 2 October 2015 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mrs Clinton has said it is "infuriating" that the US cannot stand up the National Rifle Association and enact new laws

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has unveiled new gun control laws in the wake of the deadly Oregon school shooting.

She proposes abolishing legislation that protects gun makers and dealers from being sued by shooting victims.

Mrs Clinton also vowed to use executive powers as president to expand background checks at gun shows and ban domestic abusers from purchasing guns.

The issue of gun control is a hugely divisive issue in the US.

Her announcement comes after a deadly shooting at Umqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, last week left eight students and a teacher dead.

She told a rally in New Hampshire: "I will try every way I can to get those guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them.

"We need to prevent these kinds of terrible crimes that are happening."

Analysis: Anthony Zurcher, BBC North America reporter

Image copyright AFP
Image caption US Democrats are becoming more vocal in their support of gun control

Hillary Clinton's firm stand on gun control, outlining the legislation she backs as well as the unilateral actions she would take as president, represents both an opportunity and a risk for her White House campaign.

It's an opportunity because gun control is one of the few issues where she can convincingly run to the left of the populist - and increasingly popular - Bernie Sanders. The Vermont senator has a mixed record on supporting increased firearm regulation, including voting against background checks in 1993 and for shielding gun manufacturers from negligence lawsuits in 2005.

The challenge for Mrs Clinton is the perception that gun control is a losing issue for Democrats in the general election. In 2000 Al Gore's failure to win pro-gun Southern states like Tennessee and Arkansas - and, as a result, the presidency - was attributed to his strong pro-regulation position. Since then, Democrats have been extremely reluctant to campaign on guns, believing that it will enflame their opponents while doing little to rally their base.

Mrs Clinton may think that equation has changed. She may have decided to take a long-term risk for immediate help in her nomination fight. Or, perhaps, she feels strongly enough about the issue not to care about the politics.

Her stance means she is going further in toughening the law than her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders, who has called for "sensible gun-control legislation".

The father of the gunman, Christopher Harper Mercer, who killed himself during an exchange with police, has called for more gun control in the US.

"I'm not trying to say that that's to blame for what happened, but if Chris had not been able to get hold of 13 guns, this wouldn't have happened," he told CNN.

Republican rivals insist that restricting gun access will not do anything to prevent mass shootings.

Media captionDon't take our guns, say some Roseburg residents

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush said "more government" is not the answer to tragedies.

"There's always a crisis and the impulse is always to do something, and it's not necessarily the right thing to do," he said.

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump said the shooting was "another mental health problem."