DANBURY, Conn. – Dozens of people carrying signs and banners protested outside Walmart in Danbury on Tuesday and delivered a petition asking the retailer to stop selling assault weapons.
Gun-violence survivors attended the protest, organized by SumOfUs.org, and spoke on behalf of the nearly 300,000 people who signed the petition nationwide.
“It’s the largest gun seller in the country,” Jen Sage-Robison, a Bethel resident and mother of three, said. “Walmart needs to take some responsibility. It’s unacceptable.”
“We all understand,” John Ruggieri, manager of the Danbury Walmart, said. “We support this community.”
Ruggieri said he couldn’t comment on the retailer’s gun-sale policies, but noted the Danbury store does not sell guns.
The petition was delivered just over a month after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Conn., which left 26 people dead, including 20 children.
Holding a sign that read “Make 2013 The Year To Ban Assault Weapons,” Sage-Robison said she hopes their voices will be heard and Walmart will make changes to reduce gun violence.
“People making noise is the only thing that works,” she said.
Maura Bergman, a Southbury resident with children in Newtown schools, said gun-control advocates have to try everything to get the attention of gun retailers and bring about change to prevent future tragedies.
Lori Haas, whose daughter was shot and injured in the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, helped deliver the protest to the store’s manager amid a swarm of television cameras.