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Self-imposed gun rules

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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. -

There are new rules for gun sellers at an annual show in South Burlington. But, these rules are self-imposed and they come as a national debate over gun control continues.

Saturday, the Holiday Inn South Burlington hosted the annual Green Mountain Gun and Knife show.

New, self-imposed rules, requiring federal background checks on all purchases didn't deter gun enthusiasts from lining up.

"It's the biggest turnout I think I've seen in an event such as this," said Forbes Morrell. He represents the non-profit "Gun Owners of Vermont.

"We don't want arms or ammunition or anything else to go into the hands of anyone who's not dealing with it responsibly, so we're in support of that," Morrell said.

No law has changed, but organizers and vendors decided to add the step as controversy over gun control swirls locally, and nationwide.

"The issue really is a social issue and also a mental health issue, it's not a gun issue."

Those we spoke with who walked out of the gun show with a brand new firearm didn't want to speak on-camera. However, for advocates at rallies, that isn't a problem.

"No reform. You don't mess around with the Constitution," said gun advocate Diane Tardif

The Essex Junction resident spent the day picketing in support of 2nd amendment rights.

She says she's worried that perceived small changes could lead to major erosion of gun rights in the years to come.

"I think you're going to find that most of the people that are gun owners are responsible people, always have been," said Tardif.

State Senator Phil Baruth argues that mass shootings indicate it's time for a semi-automatic weapons ban across the state.

His legislative opponents say that's a step too far, but they say it is time Vermont enact a law mirroring federal bans on convicts owning weapons.

The Vermont legislature is expected to begin seriously those issues in early February.

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