Last Saturday, lawmakers wrapped up the 2015 legislative session in Montpelier. Gun Sense Vermont launched a historic assault on the Second Amendment this year and came away empty-handed. Their proposed “universal” background check bill, Senate Bill 31, died almost immediately in the Senate Judiciary Committee. In addition to defeating their number one agenda item, gun owners succeeded in passing suppressor legalization legislation. Vermont now joins the 39 other states where suppressors are legal to own. These devices are important instruments that help protect the hearing of hunters and recreational shooters in addition to abating the noise of shooting ranges.
Thanks to the efforts of state Representative Patrick Brennan (R-Chittenden-9-2), the suppressor language was successfully added as an amendment to House Bill 5, the Fish and Wildlife bill, which now awaits consideration by Governor Peter Shumlin (D).
Several other anti-gun bills stalled in Montpelier during this legislative session. The Burlington Charter bills, House Bills 90, 91, and 92, were defeated in the Government Operations Committee. As previously reported, these anti-gun bills would have diminished state preemption and the Sportsmen’s Bill of Rights. In addition, House Bill 296, legislation attacking shooting ranges, House Bill 460, a bill to ban traditional lead hunting ammunition, and House Bill 297, an ivory regulation bill, were all defeated in the House Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources.
Vermonters must remain vigilant as some of the issues targeting law-abiding gun owners will carry over into the 2016 legislative session. Your NRA will continue to stand and fight for the rights of law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen across Vermont.