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Vermont: “Raft” Of Gun Control Measures Passes Legislature, Heads To Governor

Vermont: “Raft” Of Gun Control Measures Passes Legislature, Heads To Governor

Governor Phil Scott (R) eager to sign

Vermont is known for being a gun-friendly state, so gun-friendly, in fact, that socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) squirms whenever the issue of gun control comes up.  Last year, Guns & Ammo ranked Vermont #20 on its annual Best States for Gun Owners list.

That may all change, however.  The Vermont legislature has passed a “raft” of gun control measures, and the bill is on its way to Governor Phil Scott (R) who has indicated that he will sign the bill into law.  Two additional gun control bills are currently making their way through the legislature.

The New York Times reports:

Lawmakers in Vermont, a place long steeped in hunting culture, on Friday approved a sweeping package of new gun restrictions, making the state all but certain to join Florida in passing a raft of new gun control measures after a teenage gunman killed 17 people last month at a high school in Parkland, Fla.

Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, has vowed to sign the measure. It represents a remarkable departure from the state’s existing gun laws, which are some of the weakest in the country — and an about-face for Mr. Scott, who decided to consider new gun control measures only after a teenager was accused of plotting a school shooting in Vermont in the days after the violence in Parkland.

. . . .  The bill, which passed the Senate, 17 to 13, on Friday after clearing the House earlier in the week, would raise the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21 and ban bump stocks, which are devices that allow semiautomatic rifles to fire more rapidly. It also contains restrictions that go beyond those in the measure signed in Florida, like an expansion of background checks and a limit on the capacity of magazines that can be sold or possessed in the state.

Scott states that the Parkland shooting prompted him to “change completely” his stance on gun control.

The Hill reports:

The bill will now head to Gov. Phil Scott (R), a lifelong gun owner who also holds a 93 percent approval rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA), but is expected to sign the bill.

Scott said his stances on gun control “changed completely” after the February mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school in which 17 people died. Vermont also averted a school shooting in February after a tip to law enforcement, according to the Burlington Free Press.

There are two further gun control bills making their way through the Vermont legislature, and Scott is eager to sign those, as well.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Gov. Scott said in a statement after Friday’s vote that he supports the new bill, along with two other gun-control measures that are advancing in the legislature, because he believes they uphold constitutional rights “while taking reasonable steps to reduce the risk of violence.” A spokeswoman confirmed he plans to sign all three bills pending a technical review.

“As Governor, I have a moral and legal obligation and responsibility to provide for the safety of our citizens,” the governor said in a statement. “If we are at a point when our kids are afraid to go to school and parents are afraid to put their kids on a bus, who are we?”

The WSJ has further details on the three gun controls bills.

The bill that passed Friday, which the House had previously cleared, includes exceptions on the age requirement for people who have passed hunter-safety courses. Regarding ammunition, the bill restricts sales of magazines exceeding 10 rounds for long guns and 15 rounds for handguns. The bill also expands background checks and bans bump stocks, devices that enable semiautomatic rifles to operate like fully automatic weapons.

. . . . The other gun-control measures working their way through the legislature include a bill to create “extreme risk protection orders” that can prohibit people from possessing a gun for up to a year if a court finds they pose a significant danger. So-called “red flag” bills have gained momentum around the U.S. following the Parkland, Fla., school shooting because supporters believe they provide a way to disarm people who are deemed dangerous, but haven’t committed a crime.

The third bill involves removing guns from people arrested or cited for domestic assault.

Ethan Sonneborn, the 13-year-old Democrat gubernatorial candidate in Vermont, is touting his early inclusion of stricter gun control in his campaign.

The Hill reports:

A 13-year-old running for governor in Vermont is highlighting gun control in his platform.

Ethan Sonneborn, who declared his candidacy last year, is calling for stricter gun control in his home state, and told CNN in an interview published Friday that the refreshed national conversation on guns in the aftermath of the Florida school shooting presents a “good opportunity to make change.”

“There’s always been a sense of, ‘We don’t talk about that in politics.’ That’s what I wanted to change,” Ethan told CNN. “I wish it didn’t take a tragedy for us to become involved in a national dialogue about how we move forward, but we can’t go back in time and make it that Parkland didn’t happen. And while we’re in this moment, I think it’s a good opportunity to make change.”

Ethan emphasized that he is respectful of the state’s prominent hunting culture.

“It’s a culture that I respect,” he said. “But if it’s making the decision between letting my friends have a good time at a firing range and them possibly being involved in a school shooting, I’m choosing legislation to protect them from that school shooting.”

Conor Casey, executive director of the state’s Democratic Party, praised Ethan for taking on the issue of gun control early in his campaign.

“Ethan really did embrace the gun issue early on,” Casey told CNN. “He’s representing younger people and he’s been a good voice for them.”


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How will someone under the age of 21 living by herself protect herself from home invasion? Inquiring minds would like to know.

As with most gun laws, it will make the politicians feel great about themselves but will do little to actually address the problem of gun violence by mentally unstable people and the failures of law enforcement to recognize and act upon the warning signs…… and in the case of Broward County the failure to intervene during an active shooter situation with could have save lives. More protections are needed at schools to prevent and even confront armed intruders with force.

There is a larger issue of a lack of fathers in children’s live and the overall loss of moral norms in society that is a contributor to most of these mass shootings that no legislature can address.

Court challenge in 5, 4, 3, 2,…

    Especially on the 21 age limit.

      MarkJ in reply to Shane. | March 31, 2018 at 5:09 pm

      “Especially on the 21 age limit.”

      Precisely. This seems nothing short of insane given that 17 year olds can enlist, for starters, in the Vermont National Guard. The VT legislature is going to find itself in the bizarre position of trying to claim that under-21’s who are perfectly responsible, competent, and qualified in the use of military small arms and advanced weapons systems–including artillery and UAV’s–are too stupid and immature to purchase personal firearms.

      Total idiocy:

        SDN in reply to MarkJ. | March 31, 2018 at 9:20 pm

        All 18-20 year olds are members of the unorganized militia per Sec 10 USC. This law violates ALL clauses of the Second Amendment.

      Milhouse in reply to Shane. | April 2, 2018 at 7:39 am

      On what grounds could this possibly be challenged? Where in the constitution does it say 18-21-year-olds have the RKBA? Federal law already bans people under 21 from buying handguns, and nobody has challenged that. So how can it be unconstitutional for VT to join the number of states that extend that to all guns?

“If we are at a point when our kids are afraid to go to school and parents are afraid to put their kids on a bus, who are we?”

Let me guess … a bunch of cowards?

Eric Holder was right about that, though for the wrong reasons.

Why would anyone’s position on gun control ‘change completely’ after Parkland? Because of the abject government failure, on all levels, to protect the children? Or because of the progressive AstroTurf campaign?

All this crap will punish law abiding citizens and

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Lewfarge. | March 31, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    So right.

    Look at this article from Ace of Spades. (You have to scroll down a bit to see it.)

    “Looks Like Great Britain Needs Some Common Sense Acid Control Legislation”

    Acid attacks: What has led to the rise and how can they be …

    Jul 13, 2017 ·latest acid attacks in north-east London on Thursday, which saw five people being sprayed with a …
    Why acid attacks are on the rise in Britain – USA TODAY

    Apr 26, 2017 · LONDON — Twenty people at a packed nightclub here suffered chemical burns from an acid-like substance thrown at them on April 17, an attack that …
    London Police Report Increase in Acid Attacks – Journal of …

    The spike in attacks has prompted some lawmakers to call for restrictions on the sale and carrying of corrosive liquids such as sulfuric acid. London’s police chief, Cressida Dick, said officers were concerned by the increase in the “completely barbaric” attacks.

I’m sure VT residents have weighed in on this, but as someone who recently drove through the state (bottom to top and back again) it’s obvious that the Left has been very effective in its infiltration of key venues over the last 50 years.

It’s ripe for a coup.

nordic_prince | March 31, 2018 at 5:27 pm

Gov. Scott said in a statement after Friday’s vote that he supports the new bill, along with two other gun-control measures that are advancing in the legislature, because he believes they uphold constitutional rights “while taking reasonable steps to reduce the risk of violence.” A spokeswoman confirmed he plans to sign all three bills pending a technical review.

All righty then, Gov. Scott, you should be able to answer a couple of simple questions:

1) What is the “risk of violence” prior to enactment of these bills? Numbers, please – no hand waving.

2) By what factor will this legislation reduce the “risk of violence”? Again, we need specifics, not generalities or vague assurances that this will indeed be the case. But I’m sure you have such data, since you seem quite confident in your assertions.

If you can’t answer these basic questions, you have no business passing “feel good” legislation.

As far as that goes, you have no business passing “reasonable steps” that restrict people’s unalienable rights – it’s all part of that “shall not be infringed” stuff the Founding Fathers included in the Bill of Rights for some odd reason.

4th armored div | March 31, 2018 at 5:38 pm

one additional law which must be passed country wide with gun control –
no drivers license for under 21 and passing background checks –
cars kill and injure many more people than guns do.

no state military, police, street crossing guards, baby sitters,
etc under 21, requires background checks, bond postings, insurance etc.

no one over 65 with same reasoning with the addition of mental and physical alertness tests, reading in 5 langusges etc.

definitely background checks for delivery and store personnel who have access to credit card information same for postal workers (don’t want them going podtal).

only partially sarcastic.

Mass hysteria. Here we have a laundry list of errors, mistakes, and cowardice by law enforcement and Fed agencies and they buy into the wish list of gun control fanatics. Pox upon them.

That is a very lovely photo of a useful idiot and an enemy of law abiding citizens who are his enemies.

Henry Hawkins | March 31, 2018 at 6:18 pm

Governor Scott is cynically playing both sides, knowing full well the age restriction will never pass court review. At that point the law goes bye-bye and Governor Scott will have his scapegoat – whoever filed the winning lawsuit.

I wonder if he’s willing to go for a law where if an illegal immigrant (AKA invaders) is in possession of a gun and that gun fires and kills someone- the illegal goes to jail for it. Unlike in CA.

    Milhouse in reply to gospace. | April 2, 2018 at 7:48 am

    That would be unconstitutional. All people in the US, including illegal immigrants, are entitled to the equal protection of the laws. The law can’t treat people differently for the same crime, merely because of their immigration status, any more than it can do so because of their race.

I don’t have a problem with an event or epiphany leading to changing someone’s views, this is common, and should be welcome in society. However, if it conflicts with a core principle you have long held, it should be questioned, it should be something explained in full, and for politicians, it should also come with an offer to resign office if it does not stand with the populous they are supposedly representing.

When you have a life changing event come along which leads to changing your views, you need to defend your full reasoning, and defend every iota of such a proposed bill with your own justifications for how it will lead to an improved society. Doing an about face on a big issue such as this is not common, and this seem irrational, calling into question his ability to govern effectively. If he can explain it to the people of his state to their satisfaction, leaving out emotions, just using plain hard facts along with the evaluation of how the legislation will improve their lives, then fine… somehow I doubt he would do any such thing.

It also seems that while it did pass with a majority, it wasn’t an overwhelming majority. In a case like that, it should be required that town hall meetings are set up around the whole state to justify this legislation. Yeah, I know, a pipe dream, as these politicians always seem to believe they know better how to run your life than you do.

This is what happens when you allow legislator to pass unconstitutional laws. They go out an pass more.

Any law, or other government action, which restricts any person’s right to keep [own] and bear [possess or carry] arms [weapons], including firearms, is a violation of the language of the 2nd Amendment. The protections of the 2nd Amendment are applied to the states by the language of the 14th Amendment. Since 1868, governments have been not only ignoring the language of the 2nd Amendment, but the SCOTUS has gone so far as to unilaterally rewrite the Amendment to include heretofore invisible exceptions to the total ban on government actions which restrict the ownership and possession of firearms and other weapons.

The discussion on common sense gun control legislation HAS to begin with the acknowledgement that all of it is unconstitutional to begin with.

A point of interest is that the Constitution does not ban the government from regulating how, when and where a firearm, or other weapon, is used; not owned or possessed.

Let me guess, they finally banned the fully semi-automatic AR-71.

You know, the black scary one with the shoulder thing that pops up.

What scares me about these these laws is the runtime before they are ruled unconstitutional.

What’s the window for an unconstitutional confiscation? Can they grab most the guns and round up all the resistors before The Supreme Court ruled on it?

And with the media, will it be like the rapture? Joe and Bob and Mary and Peggy and Samantha and Katherine and Donald and his two sons are all gone and no one knows where or why

    Mac45 in reply to Fen. | March 31, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    The SCOTUS IS the problem.

    In Heller, and again in McDonald, two of the strictest constitutional constructionists, Scalia and Thomas, both said that it was perfectly alright to restrict the ownership and possession of firearms, even though NOWHERE is this found in the 2nd Amendment.

    We can not depend upon the SCOTUS to protect our rights, even one which is so clearly defined in the Constitution. The only means that the populous has to protect their rights is the ownership and possession of weapons, including firearms. The Founding Fathers knew this and that is why the 2nd Amendment exists.

By the way has anyone heard from Professor Jacobson? He boarded United 247 this morning to speak at tomorrow’s civil rights protest in DC.

But he hasn’t checked into his hotel room. And security cameras at BWI Arrival Gate for Flight 247 didn’t pick him up.

… although now that I think about it, he tends to run off whenever Green Lantern shows up. That must be it, Green Lantern has him.

buckeyeminuteman | March 31, 2018 at 11:47 pm

I personally don’t care about bump stocks either way. I don’t see the need or have a desire for myself to own one. But, you give these gun-grabbers an inch and they’ll become a ruler.

Also, did I hear that correctly? A 13 year old is running for governor?

    Yes, a 13-year-old. Vermont has no minimum age of candidacy for state office. If he’s elected, the good news is that after six terms his prefrontal cortex will be fully developed.

I expect the 21 age requirement to be struck down, as it should be.

Magazine restrictions? What does that have to do with Parkland?

    Erasmus in reply to randian. | April 1, 2018 at 12:57 am

    Nothing at all. Magazine restrictions have for years been on the wedding registry of anti-gun groups wooing legislators. Their magical thinking is that if a shooter has to stop to reload more often, that provides opportunity for potential victims to rush the shooter. As alaskabob noted, the Florida shooting was done with 10-round mags. A Columbine shooter use 10-round mags. The Virginia Tech shooter used mostly 10-round mags. And reportedly the Parkland shooter used 10-round mags.

      randian in reply to Erasmus. | April 1, 2018 at 1:18 am

      Now I’d need to buy new magazines to carry in Virginia. Darn annoying.

      I wonder why they never think about downstream consequences of magazine restrictions. Would you rather get shot by a .380 or 9mm, or by a .45? If you can’t have more than 10, might as well go big with a more dangerous round. Also a big problem if you’re in a massed-attack defensive situation, I guess they assume bad guys never roam in packs.

Some liberal judge will rule any kind of restriction on abortion in a matter of hours when such legislation is passed and abortion is not in the constitution yet infringements are passed and upheld nearly every time.

“I guess they assume bad guys never roam in packs.”

And even with one 10 rounds is risky. You think you’re a good shot on the pistol range?

Okay. It’s 3am. You and your wife just finished off a bottle of red wine. There’s a crash downstairs, followed by shrieks that sound inhuman, until you realize it’s your teenage daughter. Your adrenaline just hit 11, you stumble over to the gun safe and fumble with a combination.

Having narrowly avoided shooting yourself in the foot by accident you engage the intruder. 3am. Half drunk. Daughter screaming like a maimed animal, adrenaline booming the preamble to a heart attack. How good a shot do you think you’re going to be?

Round 1 is already lodged in the bedroom floor board. But you spot the part before he sees you and you get off 3 good shots. Let’s say you’re lucky and 2 of them are well-placed at center mass. The perp pops back behind the kitchen door into hard cover. And you are too busy fighting panic and fear to even realize you have 6 rounds left.

But you get lucky again. Despite all the chaos. 3 of 6 shots hit – torso, shoulder, bicep.

But he doesn’t go down.

Did you remember to grab the spare magazine? He’s rushing you. It would almost be a Mercy if his knife found your heart. Because the real nightmare would be bleeding out on the floor while your wife and daughter were raped.

    Mac45 in reply to Fen. | April 1, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Training Grasshopper, training.

    The problem that most firearms owners face is a lack of training. Defensive firearms training includes both mental and physical training. Trainging and practice reduce stress, which reduces adrenaline production which reduces impairment of fine motor skill performance and critical mental activity. It also requires personal discipline. Instead of drinking half a bottle of red wine settle for half a glass. Also, have your defensive weapons in the same place and same condition while sleeping. this allows conditioned reflexes to operate to arm yourself, if you are awakened.

    As to high capacity magazines, more is always better, as long as the magazine functions smoothly. One can never be too good looking, too rich or have too much ammunition. And no one EVER complains of having ammunition left over after a gunfight. It is important to establish reason defensive firearms goals based upon the type of threats one faces and the capabilities of the defensive firearms. In today’s society, multiple threats, more than two assailants are becoming much more common. As the capabilities of most easily carried and handled pistols require 2-3 rounds being expended per assailant in order to stop the assault, my minimum capacity for a defensive handgun is 9 rounds in a platform having a minimum power standard equivalent to that of the 9x19mm/.38spl.

    Finally, never make a single person in your household the only line of defense. While men are generally the first line of defense, both adult women and late teenage children should be trained and armed to repel attack and defend the home and their persons. The weaker segments of out population; women, teenagers and the elderly; are those who benefit most from the effectiveness of modern firearms.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | April 1, 2018 at 10:44 am

He’s an idiot. Schools are safer now than they’ve ever been. The number of homicides of people aged 5-18 on school grounds:

1993: 34
1994: 29
1995: 28
1996: 32
1997: 28
1998: 34
1999: 33
2000: 14
2001: 14
2002: 16
2003: 18
2004: 23
2005: 22
2006: 21
2007: 32
2008: 21
2009: 18
2010: 19
2011: 11
2012: 15
2013: 31
2014: 12
2015: 20

As shown, for the 2015 school year a total of 20 people aged 5-18 were killed on school grounds. Off of school grounds, 1148 people aged 5-18 were homicide victims that year.

If you run a regression, you’ll probably see a slight downward slope just based on absolute numbers. After you adjust for population growth of maybe 0.7% per year, the number of homicide deaths on school grounds per 100,000 are declining.

Non lethal “victimizations” on school grounds have experienced a dramatic decline. Data are from this report. Violent Deaths are graphed out on page 33. Victimization numbers appear a bit later in the report.

In the general population, gun homicide rates declined 49% between 1993-2012.

Despite 87 million new guns having been manufactured:

The reality is that society and schools have gotten SAFER even though 87 million new guns were manufactured and, until recently, gun laws having been liberalized.

Thank the media for their endless brainwashing and profiting from the 24/7 coverage after they decide to hype an event.

The historical trends, facts, data don’t matter. So much for reason.

The data above show the 1994 “assault weapons” did not stop Columbine in 1999. Neither did the laws prohibiting murder. These moronic restrictions will have exactly zero impact.

They don’t care. It enables them to put on a self righteous pose and pretend they doing something.

The police state is the safest. They will strip every last freedom away from you in the false sense of greater security.

Camus said, “The welfare of the people is always the alibi of the tyrant.”

“A culture I respect” … no, clearly he doesn’t.

I will say it again. The Progressive mantra is:

“Through individual weakness there is collective safety; through individual helplessness there is collective security.”

Tyranny fears an armed citizenry. The soft tyranny we now experience from the Left will only be emboldened by these laws. It is now beyond “feel good” laws.

Please note that London’s murder rate is higher than New York now. Bombs, knives, cars….The Left will celebrate no gun used…evil fills the vacuum with other weapons. In Australia, arson has always been a mass killer.

“Training Grasshopper, training”

Oh I agree and my hypothetical already assumes the gun owner has the training you mentioned.

Having been in combat, I can attest that all those exercises fly out the window the first time you contact the enemy. But the 2nd encounter went much smoother – there is no substitute for experience.

I get to measure this to a lesser degree on our archery range. About a dozen of us shoot together every Sunday afternoon, traditional bows not compound cheater bows 😉

When they have as much time as they need, they mostly hit the bull (5 points) out to 30 yards. But we have a 60 second speed round, as as many arrows as you can fire. The stress and rush put their shots all over the target. A good archer will get off 9-10 shots in 60 seconds.

Average score for 6 shot slow round: 25 points. 4.2 pts per shot
Average score 10 shots spreed round. 29 points. 2.9 pts per shot

I hope I’m not being pedantic, I’m not trying to argue with you. My point was that too many people, even those with training, assume that because they shoot tight little groups on the rifle range they well shoot those same tight little groups upon first contact with a home intruder.

Other than that your response is spot-on

Notice how all the federal state and local agencies bear no responsibility for the Parkland slaughter and are immune from gun control