Two years of hiding behind Zoom screens has Vermont legislators completely removed from reality when it comes to the priorities of everyday Vermonters. Record-high gas prices, the opioid epidemic, and businesses shuttered from the pandemic are just some of the real issues where lawmakers might want to focus their attention. However, Montpelier politicians have spent almost every week of this year’s session debating gun control (in one of the safest states in the entire country).
In their quest to find a solution in search of a problem, the Legislature passed S.30. The bill originally began as a “location restriction” for hospitals, but evolved into an Omnibus Gun Control Bill. One of the focal points of the legislation expanded NICS–delayed background checks indefinitely. It also expanded the state’s red flag law. Gov. Phil Scott thankfully vetoed the session’s signature gun-control bill. However, legislative leadership is fully committed to pandering to their political base despite the fact that an override seems unlikely in at least one of the chambers.
As a result, determined gun grabbers have come up with a new work-around. On Tuesday, March 8, the Senate Judiciary Committee is going to start working on S.4, a bill that was already introduced, dealing with another subject, a 48-hour waiting period on gun purchases. The plan? They are going to use a procedural maneuver, known as a “strike all,” to amend the language of S.30 into the new bill. Presumably they will make some changes, hoping the Governor may change his mind. This bill has always been unnecessary and will do nothing to enhance public safety. Clearly, there are more pressing issues facing the state, and as the Legislature nears the midway point, it’s probably time to come out from behind the Zoom screens and do some serious work for the people of Vermont.
Please contact your legislators and politely request that they uphold the Governor’s veto of S.30 and say “No” to S.4.