Advocate for gun waiting period challenges House Republican in Essex-Westford district

Advocate for gun waiting period challenges House Republican in Essex-Westford district

Alyssa Black, left, is challenging incumbent Rep. Richard Bancroft for a House seat in the Essex-Westford district. Courtesy photos In 2019, Alyssa Black tried to push Vermont policymakers to enact a waiting period for firearm purchases. Her son, Andrew, committed suicide in 2018, hours after buying a gun. After Andrew died, Black reached out to her state representative, Rep. Bob Bancroft, R-Westford, to ask him for guidance about the legislative process, and how to propose a waiting period policy. She called it a “discouraging phone call.” “I was looking for support, I was looking for guidance, I didn’t know who I had to talk to. I didn’t know how the Legislature even worked, really,” Black said. “And he basically told me to go away.” But Black continued to press for change, and the next year, the Vermont House and Senate voted to adopt a 24-hour waiting period for handgun purchases. Gov. Phil Scott vetoed the bill in June 2019. Now, Black, 51, a Democrat, says she’s running against Bancroft because he “consistently votes against the interests” of her district, which includes a section of rural Essex and the town of Westford. In an election year with President Donald Trump on the ballot, the Vermont Democratic Party believes it has a strong chance of winning the Essex-Westford House seat. Bancroft was first elected to the House in 2014, beat his Democratic opponent in 2016 by just 60 votes, and ran unopposed in 2018. Republicans also feel confident about the race, […]

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