Bernie Sanders is getting hit from his left on gun control. Vermont is a very blue state, but it’s also rural and has plenty of gun owners.

Yesterday on CNN, he assured Jake Tapper and, by extension, progressive Democratic primary voters that he strongly believes in greater gun control:

Bernie Sanders says he’s ‘strong’ on gun control

Bernie Sanders says he favors gun control measures just as strongly as his Democratic presidential rivals, touting his rural-state roots as key to his chances of enacting “real, constructive” legislation.

In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday on “State of the Union,” the Vermont senator touted his career “D-” rating from the National Rifle Association.

Sanders also played up his differences on policy issues with Hillary Clinton and hit national Democrats for a debate calendar he said is too restrictive during the interview.

His gun control comments come in the wake of the shooting deaths of two Virginia journalists who were shot by a former coworker, as well as the execution-style killing of a Texas sheriff’s deputy.

Last week Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democratic surrogate for Hillary Clinton and a gun control advocate in the wake of the Newtown school shooting, highlighted Sanders’ mixed record on gun legislation — including opposing the Brady bill in the early 1990s.

Here’s the video:

My Legal Insurrection colleague Fuzzy Slippers predicted this was going to be an issue for Sanders months ago.

So did Jonathan Topaz of Politico:

Bernie Sanders’ awkward history with guns in America

Bernie Sanders is a liberal standard-bearer on nearly every single policy issue, from climate change to taxation to financial regulation. But there’s one notable exception – guns.

With President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton calling for a gut check on gun violence in America after the mass shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., the Vermont senator’s awkward history with the issue of gun control now seems poised to resurface.

Arguably, the independent senator from Vermont has taken a pragmatic approach – his state prides itself on a deep hunting and gun culture and has traditionally fiercely defended its lax guns laws.

But while his campaign manager says he is “very moderate” on the issue, others call him “erratic.” To wit, he has voted against the Brady Bill, voted for an assault weapons ban, voted to allow firearms on Amtrak, and voted for universal background checks — upsetting gun-control and gun-rights advocates alike.

Featured image via YouTube.