Great Barrington Select Board delays adoption of gun resolution


GREAT BARRINGTON -- The Select Board is holding off on adopting a resolution calling on state and federal lawmakers to support stricter gun control measures after a number of gun-rights supporters spoke up.

More than a month after the mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., the Select Board was poised Monday night to vote on the resolution, but was convinced instead to meet with gun-rights supporters in the coming weeks and discuss the issue.

A large delegation of gun-rights supporters expressed their frustration at the meeting that the rights of law-abiding citizens are being stripped because of random acts of gun violence.

"These laws, if voted in, will not affect the criminals and unlicensed gun owners," said Great Barrington resident Emily Faedi. "It will only hurt the licensed, lawful ones who are required to take, pass and pay for the classes needed."

Select Board member Alana Chernila said that gun rights advocates and policy makers should work together. The sentiment received broad support.

"I think we need to take the politics and emotion out and take concrete steps," Selectman Stephen Bannon said.

"We started a dialogue here and I don't see why [we should] not continue it," Select Board Chairman Sean Stanton said. "We're not going to agree on everything, but I am sure there are some things we can agree on."

During the meeting, Stanton and Bannon said they had a discussion with A&J Sporting Goods owner Joe Aberdale about the requirements already imposed on people seeking to buy a gun, which includes state and federal background checks and numerous other requirements. Other Select Board members will be meeting with gun-rights supporters at an unspecified future date.

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