Free Rifle Magazines Handed Out By Gun Rights Activists In Vermont

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 4 months ago

Burlington Free Press:

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to show that the magazines were not high-capacity.

MONTPELIER – Gun rights activists gave out free rifle magazines Saturday in Montpelier as Gov. Phil Scott is poised to sign gun-control proposals into law.

“17 senators didn’t want to hear anything about unenforceable laws like the mag ban,” Chris Bradley, president of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, said on Saturday.

Bradley introduced Sen. Joe Benning, R-Caledonia, one of 13 legislators who voted on Friday against a package of gun restrictions that passed in the Senate. Saturday’s rally on the steps of the Statehouse was a protest against restrictions on gun ownership and a lawsuit fundraiser as 2nd Amendment advocates vowed to take the fight to the court system if Scott signs the bill into law.

Last week 2,500 students and gun control advocates rallied in support of restrictions, following two weeks of school walkouts.

Benning, who was in Montpelier for another meeting last Saturday, witnessed the student rally. He took a conciliatory tone as he addressed several thousand gun rights activists.

“You guys are as passionate as the other side was,” Benning said. “I know you are going to find this difficult to believe, but some of those folks on the other side are really scared of you.”

Safety, Benning said, was the uniter, though each group had different methods of achieving that goal. Benning urged both sides to talk to each other and not yell at each other, while promising that the fight for gun rights had just begun.

“Lets use this as the beginning of the discussion not the end,” Benning said, referring to the November election.

After several more speakers Rob Curtis of Williston, the executive editor of Recoil Magazine, a “lifestyle magazine” based in Los Angeles according to its website, began handing out the promised 1,200 30-round polymer magazines that can be used for AR-15 and M4 weapons. The double line of receivers stretched out and down State Street.

The FedEx delivery tracking information shared in Recoil press statement showed a 12 package delivery of approximately 400 pounds was delivered to a residence in Williston on Saturday morning. The magazines are worth between $10 and $20 at online retailers. Curtis said that MAGPUL, a manufacturer and retailer based in Wyoming, helped organized the “Green mountain Airlift” to get ahead of the proposed restrictions.

Vermonters can keep magazines already in circulation, according to the bill.

The action was also a fundraiser with the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs taking donations high on the steps of the Capitol. Down the stairs, Keith Stern was collecting signatures for a run for governor while a few kids frolicked in the sun and collected packets of magazine with their families.

“My kids have been to the range and they know how to shoot,” Andy Roberts said standing with her son Ethan and husband Phillip. Ethan clutched his magazine and shyly admitted he was not yet a hunter.

There’s a little more at the link.  I left the correction in there because I thought it was amusing.  So I have to say several things if no one else does.

That doesn’t look like a crowd of several thousand to me.  Even if the photo was a bad one to represent all the people there, several thousand is an insignificant number of people considering what’s at stake.  Truthfully, I’m not sure if it happened in my own state we could get more than several thousand at the state capital to protest or rally.  Maybe I’m preaching to the choir, but I’ve never seen a worse group of people to protect and fight over their rights than gun owners.  They’d rather send a few dollars, compromise and get back to [whatever they do].

Next up, I have to say about the rally-goers, you missed the boat when they interviewed you.  You didn’t supply the right optics, you didn’t communicate your message very well.  I see a sea of orange and the final meaningful statement in the article had to do with a hunter who had a boy who didn’t know if he was a hunter yet.

Folks, this has nothing to do with hunting.  Nothing.  It has nothing to do with sportsman’s clubs, or hunting weapons or gear, or turning over a hunting legacy to your children.  You don’t need a Pmag to hunt.  In fact, you can turn your bolt action rifles in at a state-controlled armory and check them out prior to each hunting trip and turn over a legacy of hunting to your boys.

What you can’t turn over by doing that is a legacy of liberty and freedom.  Governor Scott says he’s changed completely on gun issues.

Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe, D/P-Chittenden, promised that universal background checks would reach the Senate floor by the end of next week for an “up or down vote.”

Scott sent a wide-ranging memo to lawmakers asking them for immediate and long-term actions that he said would bolster school safety and keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them.

Read Gov. Scott’s full memo here.

[ … ]

The Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, a gun-rights group affiliated with the National Rifle Association, prefers the extreme risk protection order bill but has requested some changes. 

“I don’t think we’ll oppose it. In fact, as best we can, we agree with it,” said Chris Bradley, the organization’s president. Bradley added that he was concerned that the bill could morph into an omnibus proposal that’s “absolutely intolerable” for his group.

Scott said he was not interested in banning the sale of certain types of guns, but would consider restrictions on high-capacity magazines. He also called for a state ban on “bump stocks.”

He said that arming teachers, as suggested by President Donald Trump, was not a viable solution to violence. 

“There are other steps we can take that are more achievable and create a safer atmosphere,” Scott said.

With the Fudds already retreating before the first salvo is fired, I’m not sure I would have shown up at the “rally” either.  The very folks picking up Pmags are part of the “Sportsmen’s Clubs” who are supporting the infringements along with the NRA.

How sad all of this is.  So go ahead and wear your orange, boys, and teach your children how to shoot.  Pick up those Pmags as a token of what was once a free country.  But take careful note.  You are a poor substitute and replacement for the inspiration for magazine handouts and smuggling, Mike Vanderboegh.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. On April 2, 2018 at 10:24 am, moe mensale said:

    Not much to add to what you wrote except to note that “the wearing of the orange” is just as bad an optic for gun rights as was Charlton Heston’s stupid flintlock rifle and “from my cold dead hands.”

  2. On April 2, 2018 at 10:29 am, moe mensale said:

    ““Lets use this as the beginning of the discussion not the end,” Benning said, referring to the November election.”

    Ah, the “discussion.” Another useless optic. Minds are pretty well already made up one way or another on both sides of the aisle. Socialists want us dead and want our guns. We want to be left alone. What’s to discuss?

  3. On April 2, 2018 at 10:34 am, Herschel Smith said:


    Charlton (“No one needs an AK-47”) Heston was a traitor.

  4. On April 2, 2018 at 11:24 am, Bill Robbins said:

    Oh…upon reading the title of the article, I thought they were handing-out copies of “American Rifleman” and “Guns & Ammo.”

  5. On April 2, 2018 at 3:50 pm, Pat Hines said:

    Counting on the Yankee state of Vermont for actual freedom position is a fool’s errand.

    I have a frequent construction “guy” who is from Vermont who has explained the politics of Vermont to me. Apparently the ease of moving to Vermont, by New Yorkers, has become a critical cultural issue. As communists like Bernie Sanders moved into Vermont, the Bern is a New York Jew, the politics in the state have moved towards socialism. The crime rate hasn’t worsened, but the Gun Confiscation Lobby isn’t interested in that.

  6. On April 3, 2018 at 11:12 am, NOG said:

    After reading this, I went to town and bought more Pmags. Money where my mouth is kind of thing. Nutty Old Geezer

  7. On April 3, 2018 at 4:00 pm, Strick9 said:

    Lest we forget that Barack Obama won the 2012 presidential election in Vermont by a 35% margin and Hillary Clinton in 2016 won every county in Vermont except one. This demographic shift away from the Yankee Republicans of old has been a long time coming. They are rarer than hens’ teeth nowadays.

    I warned my VT friends that nothing but a staggering display of tens of thousands of warm bodies howling from the statehouse steps would be enough to stop this from happening. And even then the fight might have already been lost. But I see how important this was to the thousands that didn’t show up. It wasn’t important enough for a 45 minute car ride to get to Montpelier. I won’t listen to their complaining about it any more. Vermont has fallen.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Gun Control and was published April 1st, 2018 by Herschel Smith.

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