Gun rights activists hand out high-capacity magazines at Vermont rally

Gun rights activists were handing out high-capacity magazines at a rally outside the Vermont State House on Saturday to protest new legislation that would ban them and increase gun control in the state.

Hundreds of protesters gathered to urge Republican Gov. Phil Scott not to sign a new bill that would ban high-capacity magazines and bump stocks, expand background checks for private gun sales and raise the legal age for gun purchases.

The measure was approved by the State House earlier this week and then again by the Senate on Friday in a 17-13 vote.

Protesters were handed nearly 1,200 high-capacity magazines, which hold up to 30 rounds of ammunition. Standard capacity magazines are those that are sold with, and designed to operate in, firearms as sold from the manufacturer, according to an email from Congressionalsportsmen.org.

The email said these magazines "can far exceed 10 rounds - up to and including 30 round magazines that are typically sold with many popular semi-automatic rifles. In reality, the same magazines that are branded as “high capacity” by some, are in fact standard on many firearm platforms."

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If the bill is signed by Scott, those who already own high-capacity magazines will be allowed to keep them.

Scott has indicated that he intends to sign the bill, and though he understands the disappointment of some in Vermont, he has faith that they will “get accustomed to the new normal.”

“I think at the end of the day," he said, "they’ll soon learn that what we have proposed, what’s being passed at this time, doesn’t intrude upon the Second Amendment. It doesn’t take away guns, and I believe that we will get accustomed to the new normal, which is trying to address this underlying violence that we are seeing across the nation.”

The extensive gun legislation package came after the Parkland, Fla., school shooting on Feb. 14, in which 17 people were killed by a young gunman.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.