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Vt. gun enthusiasts look to protect status quo - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. gun enthusiasts look to protect status quo

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BARRE, Vt. -

It was a packed house in Barre for the annual Fish and Game Club Gun Show.  It comes as some state lawmakers make a renewed push to tighten gun regulations in the Green Mountains.  

Tradition is important at the 35th Barre Gun Show. "It's good to see the people coming in here and that our Second Amendment is alive and well," said Thomas Manley of North Clarendon.

Every year hundreds of vendors sell everything from ammo and carrying cases, to high powered riffles and scopes.  Regulations and safety are part of the conversation. "We have really relatively low gun crime with guns in Vermont -- obviously it's working here," said Linda Lamel with Cowboy Action Shooting.

Governor Phil Scott is also happy with Vermont's current guns laws. "I've said consistently that I'm not advocating for any changes in our gun laws in the State of Vermont, so I believe we're okay," Scott said Sunday.

But some Vermonters are pushing for change. Last month, Vermont Sen. Phil Baruth, D-Chittenden County, introduced a bill extending background checks to include sales between individuals.  Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, D-Burlington, has continuously urged legislators to tighten up restrictions as well.  In 2014, The city passed a charter change tightening gun regulations, but in order for that to take affect,  lawmakers in Montpelier have to sign off as well--which they have not done.

Something these avid gun users agree with. "Very happy with Vermont's gun laws. They do not need to change at all," said Brian Bailey, President of the Barre Fish and Game Club.

Many people at the gun show say that before the election, they felt apprehensive about gun laws changing.  "I'm personally happy that we have the new president that we have. I think that he'll truly help us out with our gun laws," said William Persons of Williamstown.

And despite the attention gun control has received on the national stage during the Presidential election -- and in Vermont -- this crowd says it's about their hobby and history. 

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