Essex Junction, Vt. - A gun show is normally for buying, trading and selling firearms or a place to bond with other gun advocates. This weekend at the Lamoille Valley Gun Show, a bigger conversation is going on in the background.
Underhill resident Harland Blodgett went to the Lamoille Valley Gun Show to celebrate the second amendment.
“I have a muzzleloader that I’m hoping to trade for a compound bow if I can find a deal,” Blodgett said.
Blodgett is one of many at the show with strong opinions about school walkouts and students pushing for stricter gun control.
“Kids are doing the walkout and stuff… I don’t think they know anything about guns and the laws,” he said.
Blodgett said stricter gun laws aren’t the answer.
“They’re trying to ban all this stuff, but they’re targeting the law abiding citizens when the people they want to go after don’t obey the laws anyway,” Blodgett said.
In the Vermont Legislature Bill S.55 is currently in the House Judiciary. This bill would ban semi-automatic weapons, high capacity magazines, mandate background checks among other conditions.
Earlier this week, Local 22 & Local 44’s Spencer Conlin spoke with House Majority Leader Jill Krowinski who supports the bill.
"We really want to make sure that we have a good thorough conversation of what policies we can pass to help keep Vermonters safe and so we are putting everything on the table,” she said.
Governor Phil Scott also sent a memo to legislators after many school threats were made across the state. He wrote in support of improving school safety with gun reform.
Firearms Policy Analyst for the Vermont Traditions Coalition Bill Moore disagrees.
"S.55 is a complete laundry list of gun control similar to what they have in states like Connecticut and Massachusetts,” he said.
Moore was at the Lamoille Valley Gun Show collecting signatures on a letter addressed to Scott and legislators. The letter was written to “say no to S.55”.
Before lunch time on Saturday there was already a stack of signed letters.
“People in this room are 99.9% ready to sign that letter,” Moore said.
Other bills the letter expresses dissatisfaction with are H.422 and H.675.
Moore said legislators are using recent school shootings to push the bills through. Other advocates like President of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs Chris Bradley agree with Moore.
"It's appalling to me to be put in a corner where I am somehow sacrificing kids for guns,” Bradley said. “This is not that question. This is a fundamental question of God given rights."
The Lamoille Valley Gun Show will open for its final day on Sunday at 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Champlain Valley Exposition.
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