The 2011 legislative session was a quiet one for Vermont gun owners. However, a few anti-gun bills were introduced and defeated through inaction.
House Bill 83, sponsored by state Representative Linda Waite-Simpson (D-Essex), would have required mandatory storage of private firearms, essentially rendering them useless for home defense. This bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, but a hearing never occurred. Its companion bill, Senate Bill 59 sponsored by state Senator Dick McCormack (D-Windsor), was assigned to committee but never received a hearing.
State Representative David Deen (D-Windham 5) introduced House Bill 10 which could have threatened shooting ranges through excessive regulation. H. 10 would have created a certification and inspection procedure for shooting ranges and would have allowed the Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife to add additional restrictions. State Representative Deen fought against range protection in 2006, and has continued his effort with H. 10. Fortunately, gun owners were able to prevent this bill from advancing.
One important pro-gun bill was introduced but, unfortunately, it failed to get out of committee.
House Bill 244, introduced by state Representative John Moran (D-Windham-Bennington 1), would have allowed the use of firearm suppressors if used for lawful purposes. This legislation would have allowed gun owners to protect their hearing and also be respectful to surrounding neighbors while hunting or target shooting. Currently, 39 states allow firearm suppressors to be used as long as the individual possesses it in compliance with federal law. This bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee but a hearing was not held.