Despite overwhelming public opposition to a package of gun control bills at a public hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, Gov. Phil Scott held a press conference today calling for passage of those bills and several others, including restrictions on the sale of rifles and shotguns to law-abiding adults and banning non-commercial firearm transfers, even between some family and friends.
Media accounts estimated that over 1,000 people attended the hearing. The vast majority were Vermont gun owners who opposed additional gun laws. In fact, the hearing ended shortly after anti-gun groups ran out of speakers.
Please immediately contact your state Representative, state Senator and Governor Scott and ask them to oppose H. 422, S. 6 and any other gun control proposals that will only affect law-abiding gun owners.
The main bills which were being discussed included H.422 by Rep. Maxine Grad. This bill passed the House narrowly last session but stalled on the Senate side. Again, anti-gun lawmakers are trying to revive this bill which is being sold as “domestic violence” legislation. NRA supports harsh penalties for convicted violent abusers, however, this bill goes well beyond that and would lead to the confiscation of firearms with little or no due process. It applies to restraining orders where there has been an accusation but no finding of guilt.
Gov. Scott also called for S.221 to be expedited. That bill would create extreme risk protection orders. NRA has been working with lawmakers on this single piece of legislation to make sure due process safeguards were strengthened and that the bill would only impact true bad actors. However, in its current form, the bill has significant problems. With this expedited timeline being pushed by the Governor, fixing this bill will be a challenge.
The Governor also indicated “everything is on the table,” including background checks on non-commercial firearm transfers, even between some family and friends. Under existing law, all firearm transfers conducted by an FFL must clear a NICS check. S. 6 by Sen. Phil Baruth would require mandatory background checks on all firearm transfers. These “universal” background checks are far from universal as criminals do not submit to background checks. The vast majority of criminals simply acquire their guns on the black market. This bill is nothing more than an attack on law-abiding gun ownership. Gun owners would be forced to pay for these costly checks. The bill is also largely unenforceable.
In addition, the Governor is now wanting to place restrictions on the sale of shotguns and rifles to adults under the age of 21. The Governor’s final wish list item is the banning of bump stocks and the creation of a task force.
Please click the above “Take Action” button or call Gov. Phil Scott at 802-828-3333 and respectfully request that he oppose these new gun control laws. Vermont is one of the safest states in the country, and there is no evidence that there is anything wrong with the state’s gun laws. Most of these bills are being pushed by large out-of-state gun control groups who are trying to create a solution which simply does not exist in Vermont.