A 13-year-old Democrat is running for governor in Vermont in hopes that he will get to sign legislation to ban semi-automatic weapons, WNNE-TV reported.
Who is he?
Ethan Sonneborn, an eighth-grader, participated in the March For Our Lives gun violence protest earlier this month. The national and international event was organized by survivors of the February mass killing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Sonneborn is adding his voice to other teenagers and adults who are calling for more gun control. About 2,500 people participated in the march in Montpelier, the TV station reported.
He's allowed to run for office because Vermont laws do not specify a minimum age to run for governor.
"My generation has been taking an important step in this because we’re the ones were getting shot," Sonneborn, who is currently serving as a statehouse page, said. "This affects us directly and people who say it can’t happen in Vermont, we came this close to it happening in Vermont. It will happen in Vermont if we don’t take action."
What are lawmakers considering?
Vermont lawmakers are debating a bill that would raise the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21, limit the capacity of gun magazines, boost background checks and ban bump-stocks, WNNE reported.
Sonneborn said that isn't enough. He also favors an assault weapons ban. That's an option unlikely to get past the desk of Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, according to reports.
Lawmakers hope to have a bill prepared for Scott within a week. The governor has said he will consider signing it depending on what the final draft contains.
Sonneborn told media that although he does not own guns, he understands the cultural aspect of owning them.
Still, the teen disagrees with lawmakers who voted against the Senate bill. Sonneborn surmised it was because they come from areas of Vermont where guns are more prevalent.
"The bill is a good building block but it doesn’t have the kind of progressive gun reform Vermont needs," Sonneborn said.
Sonneborn has chosen "Because tomorrow matters" as his campaign slogan.