This article by David LaChance originally appeared April 8 in the Bennington Banner.
BENNINGTON — A crowd of at least 300 gun rights supporters filled the Four Corners downtown on Saturday to protest the Legislature’s passage of S.55, legislation that puts new limits on gun ownership in Vermont.
Holding signs bearing such slogans as “Guns don’t kill people! People kill people,” “I’m an American, I have the right to bear arms,” “Second amendment protects the first,” and “Gun free zones are victim zones,” the protesters encouraged motorists to honk in support through the early afternoon.
A handful of signs singled out Gov. Phil Scott, who has promised to sign the legislation, as well as two additional measures that would allow police to take guns from people considered at risk of harming themselves or others, and from people arrested or cited for domestic assault.
S.55, which gained momentum after the shooting deaths of 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Fla., and the arrest of a teenager accused of planning a school shooting in Fair Haven, has four main provisions: It bans long gun magazines with more than 10 rounds and pistol magazines with more than 15 rounds, requires background checks for private gun purchases, raises the legal age for gun ownership from 18 to 21, and bans bump stocks, devices that raise the speed with which semi-automatic weapons fire bullets.
Rallies were also held in South Burlington and Barre. Another is planned for April 14 in Montpelier.
Steve Roy, of Pownal, said he joined the Bennington rally because he opposes two parts of S.55: the change in the age of legal gun ownership, and the magazine ban. He doubted whether either would prevent the kind of gun violence that prompted the Legislature to act, and called the magazine restriction “low-hanging fruit” and “feel-good legislation.”
Read full story at the Bennington Banner.
(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)