Domestic violence is abhorrent, and those convicted of violent offenses should be severely punished, and on that point we can all agree. Because of the seriousness of this issue, there are already a plethora of state and federal laws on the books which keep guns out of the hands of convicted abusers. In fact, domestic violence is one of the few misdemeanor offenses which is included in the NICS database of prohibited persons. However, legislation recently introduced and currently moving in the Vermont House is nothing more than a front for gun control being pushed nationally by Bloomberg surrogates.
H.422, sponsored by House Judiciary Chairwoman Maxine Grad, would lead to gun confiscation in cases of arrests! That's right, all someone has to do is accuse you of domestic assault, and they can confiscate your property. This bill is completely devoid of due process. Despite an extremely weak provision for returning firearms, experience from across the country has shown that even those who are eventually vindicated of false accusations spend a good deal of time and money getting their property returned to them. For those who are convicted of domestic violence, they are already prohibited from owning firearms. This bill is wholly unnecessary and goes far beyond existing law.
H.422 has received a "walk thru" in committee, and the committee will hear testimony this week from invited witnesses. We expect this issue will move quickly as the "crossover" deadline for bills to pass their committee of origin is March 17.
Your immediate action is required! Please contact Chairwoman Grad and members of the House Judiciary Committee today and respectfully urge them to oppose H.422.