Beer, wine, and guns drew a crowd in the state house cafeteria Tuesday evening at the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs annual legislative mixer.
"It's a good exchange in a social atmosphere and that's good," said Clint Gray, President of the Federation.
A social atmosphere to discuss a seriously controversial topic: gun control.
"Most of the bills I've seen penalize or will penalize 90% lawful gun owners and not perpetrators," said Gray while addressing the crowd from a podium.
A recent bill proposed in the house seeks to limit magazine capacity and require background checks for all gun sales. Something the sportsmen do not support.
"They're really concerned," Gray explained. "Some of the responsible gun owners that some of these bills are going to impact them."
One of the bill's co-sponsors, Representative Tom Stevens (D-Waterbury) was in attendance.
"This is the beginning of a conversation that I'm hoping is responsible - that is as unemotional as possible given the tinderbox that this is," Stevens explained.
Though he doesn't usually go to the annual mixer because he says he's not a sportsman, that is exactly why he chose to go this year.
"As a legislator its very very important to hear opinions that I don't necessarily share because they really do educate me," he explained.
Though Stevens says he has respect for the sportsmen and their culture, he hasn't changed his support for the bill.
"This isn't about taking away anyone's guns or Second Amendment rights or Vermont Constitutional rights this is about gun safety."
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