Thousands speak out at public meeting surrounding Southbury’s proposed firearm ban on town properties 

SOUTHBURY - Gun control is a controversial topic that is widely talked about nationwide. The Southbury Democratic Town Committee proposed an ordinance to ban firearm on town properties.

A meeting was held Thursday night at Pomperaug High School where the public was able to address their opinions to the Board of Selectman.

One of the first people to talk was Scott Wilson, the president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League. He said a ban will not work because a criminal's intent is to commit a crime whether a gun is involved or not.

"I think it makes people feel less safe. I think whenever you ban firearms, it does nothing to stop or deter a criminal from going into such a location," said Wilson.

Michele McBrien is also against the ordinance. In fact, she said she is a firearm instructor, something she has been doing for several years because she wants people to learn to defend themselves if something were to happen.

"That can encompass parks which they're talking about the buildings, but it can also encompass the roads. I live locally, I don't live in Southbury but I do travel through Southbury. I do a lot of business in Southbury with the different organizations I work with," said McBrien.

Meanwhile, there were those who were in favor of the ordinance. One Sandy Hook resident and a member of the Newtown Action Alliance said she and others have submitted a recent proposal for a similar ordinance to be enacted in her town.

"In fact, there have been 1,500 mass shootings incidents since the Sandy Hook tragedy and most of these incidents occur at home, in domestic violence situations, not gun-free zones," said Sandy Hook resident, Po Murray.

Another woman in favor was a member with "Moms Demand Action" and she explained why someone carrying a gun in certain places would make her nervous.

"I would like the same right to feel comfortable in places where I have no choice but to be there and carry out the business I have to do," said Lorraine Marcantonio.

The ordinance was proposed about two months and Thursday night's public comment was a step closer in deciding whether a ban would be good or not for Southbury.

"When people are carrying in public and at demonstrations, there is a danger of accidental firearms going off," said Ron Pinciaro, a member of CT Against Gun Violence.

No vote was made at the meeting. There is supposed to be another date where a decision will be made.

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