After being amended multiple times over the last year-and-a-half, an omnibus anti-gun bill is headed to the desk of Gov. Phil Scott. S.30, by Sen. Phil Baruth, started out as a “location restriction,” banning firearms in hospitals. However, the bill has morphed into much more than that, adding multiple layers from the wish list of anti-gun politicians in Montpelier. It is important that NRA Members and Second Amendment supporters contact Governor Scott and ask him to VETO S.30!
One of the amendments added to S.30 blocks NICS-delayed transfers from proceeding indefinitely. Under current federal law, a check that is delayed is allowed (but not required) to be completed after three business days. Fortunately, most of the delays are cleared within three days. This situation can be more prevalent for people who have common names. However, delayed transfers are now blocked indefinitely, and transfers cannot be completed until a “proceed” is returned. This means, that without proof that a person is prohibited, an individual’s constitutional rights can be indefinitely suspended. This bill is ripe for constitutional challenge as the burden of proof has now been completely flipped, forcing individuals to essentially prove they are qualified rather than the NICS check establishing that they are prohibited.
The bill also contains changes to the state’s “red-flag” law. Under S.30, the definition of medical professional is so broad that it could now arguably include nutritionists and dental hygienists among others, categories where the focus of professional training is not on mental health expertise. This turns a flawed process into a disastrous one, where the potential for abuse is limitless.
S.30 is completely unnecessary and is a solution in search of a problem in one of the country’s safest states. It contains a location restriction which applies to hospitals. “Safe zones” have never worked because criminals by definition do not observe these artificial boundaries. The bill has no requirement of criminal intent, and this bill will do little more than ensnare law-abiding citizens. During committee testimony, numerous witnesses correctly made the point that there is already sufficient law in place to address these situations under the state’s criminal trespass statute. Furthermore, when pressed for examples, bill proponents struggled to cite a single credible case.
S.30 has been “debated” under the shroud of COVID lockdowns for the last year-and-a-half. Legislating on Zoom has provided anti-gun politicians with cover, and it has also done a disservice to the process with respect to real public input. This bill is purely about passing a political agenda and has nothing to do with actually enhancing public safety. S.30 still has to be signed by Governor Phil Scott, and Gov. Scott has indicated he has reservations about it. Please contact Gov. Scott immediately and politely request that he veto S.30