- Associated Press - Sunday, April 8, 2018

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Several hundred gun owners using the slogan “Remember in November” relayed a message to those responsible for a gun restriction bill sent to Republican Gov. Phil Scott’s desk.

Some 2nd Amendment supporters brought along guns, including assault-style rifles, to weekend rallies against gun restrictions that were held in South Burlington, Barre and Bennington.

“I know people are afraid of guns,” organizer Christopher Covey said on Saturday. “It’s not the gun you have to fear, it’s the gun in the wrong hand.”

There were several assault-style rifles in South Burlington.

Marine veteran Nicholas Halverson said he brought his AR-15 to dispel the “stigma” about the gun, which he called “no different than any other rifle.”

Police reported no problems.

The bill, which Scott is expected to sign, would raise the legal age for gun purchases from 18 to 21 and would extend mandatory background checks to private gun sales. It also would ban the sale of high-capacity magazines and bump stocks, devices that increase the firing rates of rifles.

Two other bills Scott said he’d sign would make it easier to take guns from people in dangerous situations or suspected of domestic violence.

Covey, who had a holstered .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun, said the main goal of the event was written across the back of a shirt he was wearing. The shirt was bright orange with black letters reading “REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER,” when midterm elections will be held.

The bills were passed by lawmakers in the House and the Senate after the deadly mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school and a foiled plot to shoot up Fair Haven Union High School in Vermont.

Scott, a gun owner, is expected to sign the gun restrictions into law.

“I have a gun safe full of guns,” the governor said. “I’ve been a hunter my entire life, so it’s not as though I don’t understand that perspective.”

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