Westport Woman, 86, Charged With Bringing BB Gun To Town Meeting

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WESTPORT, Conn. – An 86-year-old Westport woman was charged with breach of peace Wednesday night for bringing a BB gun to the Representative Town Meeting at town hall, police said.

At approximately 9:15 p.m., when the RTM had started its discussion on supporting tighter gun control, a uniformed officer at town hall was approached by RTM member Sean Timmons, who reported both he and fellow RTM member Matthew Mandell believed a woman walked into the auditorium with a weapon under a white cloth, police said.

The officer and a plain clothes detective quietly retrieved the weapon—a BB gun— from the auditorium and then found the woman, identified as Estelle Margolis, in the main lobby of town hall.

Margolis, a well-known peace activist in town, told police she brought the BB gun to make a point during the public comment portion of the meeting on how easy it was to purchase the gun. Margolis also had a box of .45 ammunition and a box of pellets, police said.

“Regardless of what her reasoning was to bring the BB gun rifle to the meeting, it was a poor decision that created alarm and concern to the public,” Capt. Sam Arciola said in a statement. “This incident could have clearly escalated into a tragedy.”

Margolis was charged with second degree breach of peace, a misdemeanor, and was released on a promise to appear in Norwalk Superior Court on Jan. 18.

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Well, she made her point. Is there any law or security in place that prohibits or guards against firearms in a town meeting place? If she can bring a weapon - this time a bb gun, next time? - into a public meeting place, what else could have gotten in. Her point, although a little off, should be taken seriously.

She is lucky she didn't get her moment and actually brandish the weapon. In the current skittish environment, she could have been a dead peace activist. Again, point made but at what cost?