KEENE, N.H. — Hillary Rodham Clinton vowed to make gun safety a central theme of her presidential campaign, saying here Friday that too many people in public life are "intimidated" by talking about gun control and promising that she would do so loudly.

After her commanding debate performance Tuesday, Clinton renewed her call for tougher gun laws and drew a clear, though veiled contrast, with Sen. Bernie Sanders. Her chief rival for the Democratic nomination, Sanders has a mixed record on guns during his time representing neighboring Vermont, a rural state with a proud hunting tradition.

"Some people say that we shouldn’t talk about it. Some say we shouldn’t shout about it," Clinton said at a town-hall meeting in Keene. "Well, I think we have to keep talking, but more importantly, we have to act. We have to be willing to take on those who are not in favor of sensible gun-safety measures. That includes the NRA, and it includes a lot of people in public life today who are intimidated. I think that’s no longer feasible. It’s not longer right.”

Clinton singled out the Brady Bill, the federal gun-control legislation her husband signed into law as president in 1993. The law mandated background checks for firearms purchases, among other measures.

As Tuesday's debate highlighted, Sanders voted against the bill. Clinton, in her remarks here Friday, celebrated the law's passage, saying that it has kept 2 million guns from being sold into the wrong hands.

At Friday's town hall at Keene State College, Clinton was introduced by Clai Lasher-Sommers, a local survivor of gun violence. She described in emotional detail the abuse she faced from her stepfather growing up. When she was 13, she said, he shot her in her bedroom with a rifle typically used for big-game hunting.

Clinton said these kinds of brutal attacks must end. She said she supports the right to bear arms and that she has used a gun herself, but she did not pretend to be a hunting aficionado.

"My dad taught me to shoot when I was a little girl," she said. "I've even gone duck hunting in Arkansas, standing in the cold water at sunrise. Once was enough — getting up that early, standing in that cold water — I can tell you that much."

Clinton said she was appealing to "responsible gun owners" to organize an alternative to the politically powerful National Rifle Association. She warned that the group would come after her with "scare tactics."

"They just scare responsible folks into thinking that the black helicopter is going to land in the front yard and somebody's going to take your guns," Clinton said. "That is nonsense."