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Margolis pleads not guilty in RTM gun case

Updated 12:23 pm, Friday, January 18, 2013
  • Estelle Margolis pleaded not guilty Friday in Norwalk Superior Court to a breach-of-peace charge filed against her after she brought a BB rifle and ammunition to a recent Representative Town Meeting.  WESTPORT NEWS, CT 1/18/13 Photo: Paul Schott / Westport News
    Estelle Margolis pleaded not guilty Friday in Norwalk Superior Court to a breach-of-peace charge filed against her after she brought a BB rifle and ammunition to a recent Representative Town Meeting. WESTPORT NEWS, CT 1/18/13 Photo: Paul Schott

 

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Estelle Margolis, the Westport woman who brought a BB rifle and ammunition to a Representative Town Meeting session on gun controls, pleaded not guilty Friday to a second-degree breach-of-peace charge during an arraignment at Norwalk Superior Court.

She is scheduled to return for a hearing at the court on Feb. 20.

Margolis did not provide any testimony during the arraignment and declined to comment on the case after she left the courthouse.

She was represented by Westport lawyer Neal Rogan and accompanied to the brief court proceeding by her college-age grandson, Jonah.

Margolis, 86, known locally for her decades of anti-war activism, brought the firearm and a box of .45-caliber bullets and a box of BB pellets the Jan. 8 RTM session. The legislative body was debating a citizens' petition calling for support of a national ban on assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines and an end to "gun show loopholes."

She had planned to bring the gun and ammunition to the podium during the public-comment portion of the meeting to highlight her contention that firearms -- which she said she purchased earlier that day at Walmart -- are too easily available, according to a letter she wrote to the Progressive Democrats of America website.

The rifle was spotted by two RTM members before Margolis could speak and she was escorted from Town Hall by police without incident before she had a chance to speak on the gun-control petition. RTM members voted that night by a resounding margin to support the petition.

Margolis has been an advocate for civil-rights and anti-causes for decades. She and her late husband, Emanuel Margolis, a civil-liberties lawyer, organized regular peace vigils at the Post Road bridge in the town center, a tradition that continues today with weekly Saturday protests.