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Vt. Mayors Address Gun Violence Issues

  • Mayors Thom Lauzon of Barre, center rear, Miro Weinberger of Burlington, left, and John Hollar of Montpelier hold a news conference on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 in Burlington, Vt. Several mayors in Vermont are banding together to speak out about reducing gun violence. The mayors are asking for more action from Washington to reduce gun violence. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

    Mayors Thom Lauzon of Barre, center rear, Miro Weinberger of Burlington, left, and John Hollar of Montpelier hold a news conference on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 in Burlington, Vt. Several mayors in Vermont are banding together to speak out about reducing gun violence. The mayors are asking for more action from Washington to reduce gun violence. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

  • Mayors Thom Lauzon of Barre, center, Miro Weinberger of Burlington, left, and John Hollar of Montpelier hold a news conference on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 in Burlington, Vt. Several mayors in Vermont are banding together to speak out about reducing gun violence. The mayors are asking for more action from Washington to reduce gun violence. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

    Mayors Thom Lauzon of Barre, center, Miro Weinberger of Burlington, left, and John Hollar of Montpelier hold a news conference on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 in Burlington, Vt. Several mayors in Vermont are banding together to speak out about reducing gun violence. The mayors are asking for more action from Washington to reduce gun violence. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

  • Mayors Thom Lauzon of Barre, center rear, Miro Weinberger of Burlington, left, and John Hollar of Montpelier hold a news conference on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 in Burlington, Vt. Several mayors in Vermont are banding together to speak out about reducing gun violence. The mayors are asking for more action from Washington to reduce gun violence. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
  • Mayors Thom Lauzon of Barre, center, Miro Weinberger of Burlington, left, and John Hollar of Montpelier hold a news conference on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 in Burlington, Vt. Several mayors in Vermont are banding together to speak out about reducing gun violence. The mayors are asking for more action from Washington to reduce gun violence. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

Burlington — The mayors of three Vermont cities said yesterday in conjunction with one-month observances since the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that they welcomed debate in the state and across the country about the best way to control gun violence

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger hosted his colleagues from Montpelier and Barre and said the Rutland mayor, who could not attend, supported their position.

“We have a moment where change is possible here,” Weinberger said during a news conference at his city’s police department.

The mayors voiced support for a movement being pushed by an organization called Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bipartisan coalition of more than 800 mayors and 1 million grassroots supporters.

The group lists that include requiring every gun buyer to pass a criminal background check, banning military style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and making gun trafficking a federal crime.

Weinberger and Montpelier Mayor John Hollar said they supported a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines while Barre Mayor Thom Lauzon said he did not support the assault weapons ban, but agreed with other goals of the mayors’ organization.

“I am standing here as the mayor who does not support a ban,” Lauzon said, but he knew the other mayors would work together to implement other portions of the gun control efforts rather than let the moment escape if they could not agree on that detail.

Gun control efforts have never been popular in Vermont or seen by some political leaders as needed.