Lawmakers in Montpelier didn't wait long before trying to pass extreme gun control legislation. One would think that the state doesn't have any real problems, and legislators can focus on the pet projects of their choosing. No opioid epidemic or budget issues which need to be addressed. Just political grandstanding. Given these real world problems, it seems completely out-of-touch to be addressing "gun violence" in a state that ranks as one of the safest in the country. However, Progressives in the state, borrowing from their Washington, D.C. cohorts, seem to be ignoring that fact in pursuit of scoring political points with their extremist base. Please call and email Speaker Mitzi Johnson at 802-828-2245 to leave a message to oppose any gun control.
The House Judiciary Committee has spent weeks already combing over H.610, a bill that makes it easier for family members to initiate "red flag" complaints. Under the current law, petitioning the court has to be done by prosecutors. This is something that was adopted to avoid abuse of the law. The bill, by Judiciary Chairwoman Maxine Grad, also contains a provision that blocks "default proceed" for NICS checks which are delayed. Under federal law, transfers can proceed after three days. H.610, prohibits proceeding with the transfer at all, permanently suspending the constitutional rights of someone who may in fact not be a prohibited person. Because of these serious problems, your NRA-ILA recently testified before the House Judiciary Committee, strongly opposing H.610.
There are also a handful of other gun control measures which have been introduced:
H.600 by Rep. Linda Sullivan requires dealers to file "suspicious activity reports." This is a bizarre bill that assumes someone is "suspicious" because they inquire about the price of a firearm or purchase multiple firearms.
H.888 by Rep. Brian Cina prohibits the manufacturing of magazines in Vermont such as those banned under S.55 in 2018.
S.258 by Sen. Phil Baruth creates a 48-hour waiting period before firearms can be transferred. This is a dangerous bill because it denies someone the ability to buy a firearm if they have an urgent self-defense need. There is no credible evidence that waiting periods have any impact on public safety.
S.259 by Sen. Phil Baruth bans commonly owned semi-automatic rifles.
S.268 by Sen. Alison Clarkson is an omnibus gun control bill that mandates storage of firearms, creates a 72-hour waiting period on the transfer of firearms, expands emergency protection orders and outlaws the lawful manufacture of standard capacity magazines.
These extreme bills represent yet another egregious attack on the constitutional rights of law-abiding Vermont gun owners. It's imperative that you call and email Speaker Mitzi Johnson at 802-828-2245 and Speaker@leg.state.vt.us to leave a message to oppose any gun control. The time to speak up is now. Please continue to follow these alerts for updates as NRA-ILA works against these bills at the Statehouse.