Eric Davis: H.230 would kill off Vermont gun shows, prevent self protection

This commentary is by Eric Davis, president of Gun Owners of Vermont.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will be taking more testimony on H.230 this week. If you’re not familiar, H.230 is a bill that originated in the House Committee on Healthcare as a measure to reduce suicides in Vermont. The only problem is that it has almost nothing to do with reducing suicides and everything to do with further restricting the rights of law-abiding Vermonters to obtain and keep a firearm for personal protection.

Eric Davis, president of Gun Owners of Vermont

First, the good news: After hearing extensive testimony from Gun Owners of Vermont and the Vermont Federation of Sportsman’s Clubs, the committee has signaled a willingness to work on some of the blatantly unconstitutional areas of this bill as it was passed by the House.

We are hopeful that this week we will see the mandatory lockup requirements dropped in favor of softer language that addresses negligence as a broad issue — i.e., you won’t be forced to lock up your guns in your own home but could still be held liable in the event of an incident resulting from negligence. We obviously don’t know what this wording will look like just yet, but we will keep everyone updated as more info becomes available.

The bad news is that this would still leave intact the provision for a 72-hour waiting period on all firearms transfers. Not only would this effectively kill off the gun shows in Vermont but could have deadly consequences for someone who needs to immediately obtain a firearm for personal protection. Constitutional rights are not and should not be subject to waiting periods regardless of what effects it might have on the rate of suicides in Vermont or anywhere else.

We are urging everyone to contact the members of the Senate Judiciary and politely ask them to strip the waiting period section from this bill, as it does nothing but punish good people by setting up roadblocks between them and their constitutional right to obtain a firearm.

The committee member’s emails are:

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Ratha Grimes

16 thoughts on “Eric Davis: H.230 would kill off Vermont gun shows, prevent self protection

  1. What about the woman who is threatened to be killed by a former spouse or boyfriend or former significant other, wants to purchase a firearm but is killed waiting the 72 hours. What about that persons rights? The 72 hour waiting period is an “infringement” on our 2nd Amendment rights. Why? Because the 2nd Amendment does not grant us that right. The 2nd Amendment tell government it cannot infringe on that right.

    Supreme Court Decision – Norton v Shelby County 1886

    6 Am Jur 2d, Sec 177 late 2d, Sec 256:
    The general misconception is that any statute passed by legislators bearing the appearance of law constitutes the law of the land. The US. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and any statute, to be valid, must be In agreement. It is impossible for both the Constitution and a law violating it to be valid; one must prevail. This is succinctly stated as follows:
    The General rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of it’s enactment and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. An unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed. Such a statute leaves the question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute not been enacted. Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principles follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, and justifies no acts performed under it..… A void act cannot be legally consistent with a valid one. An unconstitutional law cannot operate to supersede any existing valid law. Indeed, insofar as a statute runs counter to the fundamental law of the lend, it is superseded thereby. No one Is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it. The Supreme Court’s decision is as follows; “An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it has never been passed”. Norton vs Shelby County 1886 – 118 US 425 p.442.

    “All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void”.
    Marbury vs Madison, 5 US (2 Cranch) 137, 174, 176, (1803)

    Thomas Jefferson: “Whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, it’s acts are authoritative, void and of no force”.

    Alexander Hamilton explains unconstitutional law in Federalist No.76; “No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid”.

    • James,
      You are spot on in your commentary. Unconstitutional laws are constantly being illegally enacted via “executive orders” which, in themselves, are unconstitutional.
      For those unfamiliar with how things should work, here’s a brief, overly-simplified civics lesson:
      In a democratic republic (the USA is not a ‘democracy” but is a “democratic republic” by the design of the founders), any statutes that may or may not become law must be debated by both houses of the congress (the representatives elected by “We The People”) and then submitted to the Executive branch (also elected by “We The People’ …assuming there exists total election integrity) for a signature or a veto. This practice has been neglected and abused to the point where compliance with the Constitution has become secondary to the lust for power and control by elected officials. The question then remains, “What is being done about it?” Further, “What should be done about it?” Part of the problem may be that a lot of folks do not really comprehend the rights they are afforded by the first ten amendments to the Constitution (The “Bill of Rights”). Therefore, they may be willing to surrender those rights in order to feel more secure that the government is acting in their best interest, which is a false sense of security. The bottom line is that the Constitution is either the law of the land or it isn’t. There can be no compromise.

  2. BTW, Years ago I told VT GOA chapter leadership not to trust Dick Sears to defend gun rights. That was after he sponsored a gun bill in a legislative body with a lot of members who were waiting for such an opportunity to load their anti-gun ideas onto. You cannot tell me that Dick Sears, who has been in the Senate for decades and has even been written up as the most successful state legislator in the nation, was caught off guard when his bill paved the way. That he spoke against what they did with his bill and even that he voted against it means nothing. He had to have known that would have happened, even if it wasn’t planned, which it very well could have been.

    VT GOA leadership scoffed at me for saying such a thing. We here we are again. And it will happen for as long as naive people are the ones defending guns. There is no plan on how to win elections. These single-issue don’t know how to think deeper and broader to create alliances based upon very fundamental viewpoints. And so the Progressive/Socialist/Democrats keep their majorities and the Republicans drift their direction hoping to pick up the votes of the few people who don’t yet want to go so far left. And so there goes Vermont.

    • GOV leadership thinks they can battle these people at the legislative level. They think they can change the minds of some of these politicians trying to pass this stuff. (“You can’t wake up people pretending to be asleep”. – Roseann Barr) There is no other answer to this infringement on our rights but disobedience to these unconstitutional laws. When we obey these unconstitutional laws, we are by our obedience are legitimizing them and voluntarily surrendering our rights. Gun Owners of Vermont should be preaching civil disobedience. These anti-gun bills are all going to pass no matter what words are spoken at the state legislature, no matter what politicians we email or write to. They are not listening, they do not care. All they care about is destroying America as a constitutional republic one state at a time.

      Topher Field: “The only thing that limits the power of our government, is the limit of our obedience”.​

      • You bring up good points.

        They are fighting them with logic, to which the other side is not using and they win every time because THEY frame the argument. They are taking them head on, to which they constantly lose.

        One needs to use their own force, their own ways against them. They can’t change, they lie and are subverting out country by plan and on purpose.

        Their weakness is they can’t change their plan, nor can they solve any problem, because that is not their goal. Their goal is money and power. They do not care about suicides. Suicides is but one easily identified Achilles heal.

        They own the media. One needs to understand their enemy in order to live and fight another day. Sun Tzu.

        • Exactly ! And that is what the focus of all of our attention should be since we need a non-judicial way to abort the illegal actions of our current legislature. Their reliance on emotional manipulation as opposed to logic, reason and morality reveal an enormous vulnerability.
          Their unimaginative and unoriginal thinking is the very weakness that needs to be exploited before they turn to violence to sustain what they legally are not entitled to.

  3. Elections do have consequences, don’t they. Vermont is no longer Vermont. It is nothing more than a socialists beachhead to destroy our nation. If you cannot defeat this stuff, vote with your feet … take your economic activity somewhere else, so at least you are not aiding the destruction of America.

    • Yup…someone should make some money – get this bumper sticker marketed…to compete with the one million, never, ever…ending “Bernie” bumper stickers on nearly all vehicles.


      Get Out Now

      • It’s every where, don’t be fooled. Yes we are the tip of the spear. So it’s pretty crazy here, but it’s everywhere.

  4. Let’s use some common sense here!!! It is the mental health problem we have in this State and Country. It is not the Gun! It is our and your right to have a Gun. A constitutional right that our fore-fathers gave us. Because, they new this was going to have. I am a sportmen! Let’s have some brains and get rid of this Bill!


    • The problem is almost the entire legislature is in the “mental health problem” category… SHALL NOT INFRINGE…

  5. This isn’t a suicide prevention bill, it’s the continuing incremental agenda of the progressive left. Both of these restrictions have been ruled unconstitutional by the supreme court last June in the Bruen vs NY case. The legislature has a bank of lawyers in the legislative council that is supposed to guide law makers in the constitutionality of laws they propose so why aren’t they doing their job.

    The testimony of Professor John Lott, renowned authority on firearms law and crime is ignored like all testimony that doesn’t agree with the liberal agenda. The emotional testimony of one legislator touched the feelings of those who voted in favor of these restrictions even though they are unconstitutional.

    Simply explained, the legislature would strip the rights of 99% of the law abiding gun owners, blame and punish them for the acts of 1% of the mentally ill people who use a gun to commit suicide. Well, what about all the other ways to kill one’s self?

    This is a ruse to attack the free enterprise of gun shows, the right to immediately obtain a firearm if you need one for protection and we all know this is Phil Baruth and Martin LaLond bringing their anti-gun policies to Vermont from New York.

    In the real America, 26 states have passed constitutional carry laws. The safe storage act is also unconstitutional. And, how would it be enforced? Until the VT legislature strikes down the 4th amendment to the Bill of rights no one is going to enter a home to check if firearms are locked up according to their unconstitutional requirements.

    Suicide is a state of mental distress often ignored. It is being ignored right now with these foolish laws that target people who aren’t now or never have been the cause of suicide which is a personal decision not openly shared with others but the signs are usually present. It would be great if our legislature would abide by their oaths of office to honor and not harm the Vermont constitution as well as the Bill of Rights in the US constitution including the 2nd amendment. This is a lazy and irresponsible attempt to circumvent our rights to ignore the rampant mental health, drug addiction and crime problems in Vermont.

  6. The morons pushing this are supposedly concerned about suicide. Didn’t these same idiots just pass an assisted suicide bill? Only in vermont. Send thes legislators back to where they came from and leave the rest of us alone.

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