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Delaware gun control advocates and gun rights advocates face off in Dover

Sarah Mueller
Delaware Public Media

New gun restriction proposals brought hundreds of gun owners to Legislative Hall in Dover Wednesday.

Gun rights advocates marched on a Moms Demand Action rally where three new gun control measures were unveiled. Protesters confronted members of the gun control group before Capitol Police separated them.

The three bills would ban assault style weapons, restrict magazines to 15 rounds and require a state permit for gun purchases.

Senate Majority Whip Bryan Townsend (D- Newark) and State Sens. Dave Sokola (D-Newark) and Laura Sturgeon (D-Brandywine West) are sponsoring the bills.

Over the chants and boos from protesters, college freshman Avery Jones cried as she spoke about a walkout she organized at William Penn High School last year in the aftermath of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

“I watched my peers in tears," she said. "They were holding back something that they had for a long time. So I’m here today to continue the fight for them.”

The protesters chanted and booed speakers, calling Townsend a traitor. Mitch Denham, with Delaware Gun Rights, said they came out because they feel like these measures shouldn’t be forced on them.

“I want them to look me in the eye when they tell me they’re going to take something from me," he said. "I don’t want it taken in the middle of the night.”

The gun owners say they’re upset about the new legislation because they believe it would restrict their right to bear arms.

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