Vermont has been an example for the rest of the country for decades when it comes to both responsible carry and gun ownership. So it seems extremely unusual that in the middle of a pandemic, legislators in Montpelier feel compelled to devote so much energy to solving a problem that simply does not exist.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has spent weeks debating S.30, by Sen. Phil Baruth. The original bill would have prohibited firearms in hospitals, daycare facilities and public buildings. The legislation has been amended to now include only hospitals. There was no substantial evidence that daycare centers or public buildings had problems with firearms. After all, witnesses maintained that most issues, if they occurred, could be addressed with the unlawful trespass statute, VSA §3705. As a result, public buildings and daycares were amended out of the bill. What is unusual is that there was also lack of proof that a problem existed in hospitals. In fact, there was no discussion of adding metal detectors or actual security in any of these locations. Despite the absence of compelling evidence of a problem with firearms in these facilities, the bill was voted out of committee via Zoom on a 3-1 vote last week, just in time to meet the “crossover” deadline and keep the bill alive for the remainder of session.
Ultimately, this legislation is the beginning of an agenda to end carry by incrementally banning firearms in location after location, until there is nowhere left, and law-abiding citizens are completely stripped of their ability to provide for their own self-defense. In fact, one of the witnesses supporting the legislation described it as a “good first step.” This foreshadowing should serve as a stark warning.
Your immediate assistance is required. Please contact your Senator and respectfully request a NO vote on S.30. This legislation could receive a Senate vote at any time.