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    Posted January 21, 2013 by
    Montpelier, Vermont
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Gun control debate: Background checks

    More from collierphoto

    Vermont gun owners rally for 2nd Amendment


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     collierphoto is a photographer for the Times Argus/Rutland Herald in Vermont and covered the gun rights rally on Saturday. Though regarded as liberal on social issues, Vermont has a strong firearms culture combined with one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the U.S. and the least restrictive gun control laws in the U.S., the iReporter says. Read more here.
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    MONTPELIER, VERMONT — A crowd of approximately 200 to 300 Vermonters gathered at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Saturday to express support for the 2nd Amendment and protest a bill, S.32 proposed by Vermont State Senator Philip Baruth to ban "semi-automatic assault weapons" and large capacity feeding devices.

    Saturday's rally was just one of several "Guns Across America" events planned across the United States to celebrate "Gun Appreciation Day", express support for the rights of gun owners and advocate for the 2nd Amendment amid a growing call for stricter gun control measures by the Obama Administration and firearms control proponents.

    As outcry grows following the mass shooting of 20 school children and 6 adults in Newton Connecticut, proponents for stricter gun control measures have suggested the shock and emotional turmoil following the tragedy is a prime opportunity to break the NRA's "Strangle Hold" on any new legislation to control firearms.

    While all eyes have been on Washington D.C. and Presidents Obama's recently announced plan to combat what some have described as a nation-wide epidemic of gun violence, lawmakers at the state and local level have begun pushing for tougher gun control legislation. Vermont State Senator Philip Baruth sponsored a bill, S.32 to ban the possession of "assault-style weapons" and high-capacity magazines. In a state with a very strong firearms culture, combined with one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the U.S., the least restrictive gun control laws in the U.S. and one of the lowest rates of gun violence in the U.S. Baruth's proposed legislation met with stiff resistance drawing criticism from his constituents and citizens across the state. In response to the vigorous public opposition and the Saturday rally, Baruth has withdrawn his proposed legislation.

    With many proposals on the table and emotions running high going into this years legislative season, Vermonters on both sides of the debate seem to be preparing themselves for a long winter.
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