Gov. Scott goes wishy-washy on gun magazine ban he enacted

Recent statements by Gov. Phil Scott indicate that he wasn’t really on board with a gun magazine ban he passed that now may be contributing to plummeting support from his base.

In April, Vermont’s governor signed controversial legislation that restricted the amount of ammunition gun owners may load in their handguns and rifles.

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NO STANDARD CLIPS: Magazine capacity has become a concern for those looking to prevent mass shootings, but critics say new restrictions violate constitutional rights and leave law-abiding gun owners at a disadvantage when it comes to self-defense.

RELATED: Tensions boil over as Scott imposes gun control on law-abiding Vermonters

However, last week during a gubernatorial debate forum with Republican rival Keith Stern, Scott commented that he passed the legislation even though he didn’t really agree with it.

“I think what they wanted was an assault weapons ban, and then they chose the magazines instead,” Scott said during the forum. “I think there were other good aspects within the bills that were passed. I don’t believe in the magazine portion of that, but it wasn’t enough for me to veto the bill.”

Brien Lemois, the owner of Green Mountain Sporting Goods, says he’s having difficulties coping with the new regulations on his business. He also told True North that he thinks such double-mindedness toward Vermonters’ rights has alienated Scott’s base in an election year.

“At this time, Phil Scott is doing damage control because he realized he has lost support from his base, and they are seeking better candidates,” Lemois said. “When I spoke to Phil Scott weeks after him signing S.55, his response was that a bad law is better than no law. Vermont does have many issues facing this state, one of them is not gun violence.”

Lemois said that while sales have increased over recent months on standard capacity magazines while they’re still legal, there have been issues with wholesalers sending the store firearms because of the law.

Thomas Covey, of Black Ops Firearms in Plainfield, has a similar view of Scott’s leadership, but added that he’s seen a drop in sales.

“All the laws he passed, except mag size, are on the books and never enforced,” Covey said. “After he signed the mag bill, they sold by the thousands for a week then went dead, along with gun sales. Scott’s word even on paper is worthless.”

“Mr. Scott will say what anybody wants to hear and most often sides with the liberals,” he said.

During the July 26 forum, which was hosted by Channel 17, Stern took aim at Scott’s position on guns.

“Taking away gun rights from legal gun owners, law-abiding citizens, is not a solution to anything,” he said.

Scott disputed Stern’s characterization of S.55.

“We didn’t take any gun rights away from any individuals with the legislation that we put forward,” the governor said.

The legality of the magazine bans is being contested in court, both in Vermont and elsewhere.

Last month, the left-leaning Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a federal judge’s order to stop California from enforcing a similar ban on high-capacity gun magazines.

San Diego-based U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez harshly criticized the ban: “Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of otherwise law-abiding citizens, will have an untenable choice: become an outlaw or dispossess one’s self of lawfully acquired property.”

The judge also argued it was unconstitutional.

“The State of California’s desire to criminalize simple possession of a firearm magazine able to hold more than 10 rounds is precisely the type of policy choice that the Constitution takes off the table,” Benitez added.

During the debate forum, Stern pointed out there is now a legal precedent that the ban is unconstitutional. In reply, Scott said Vermont’s courts will determine the constitutional status of S.55’s magazine limits, although he didn’t say at what cost to taxpayers.

“Unfortunately it’s going to cost the taxpayers a lot of money,” Stern said. “And it’s going to cost the gun owners a lot of money fighting this, which is a shame because the money could be better spent on education, and handling gun safely, and doing so much with that money for the state.”

Lemois said he’s spoken with the governor’s office on the magazine ban.

“I’m not sure where to begin with Governor Scott’s wishy-washy attitude towards Act 94, which was S.55,” he said. “I had the opportunity to talk with them directly about the effects of the magazine ban. His attitude towards me was that of a typical politician — his liaisons did reach out to me to help mitigate the fallout of the magazine ban.”

Lemois said he doesn’t see a good solution for voters in the upcoming primary election.

“I personally do not see that we have a viable Republican candidate that can beat the Democratic nominations,” he said. “While I may be wrong, and I hope so, I just don’t see the current candidates we have winning in the general election.”

RELATED: Could pro-gun Democratic Sen. John Rodgers be Vermont’s next governor?

However, he said the new gun laws are precursors for even more gun control, and are already changing Vermont’s robust-yet-safe gun culture.

“The magazine ban has greatly impacted the ability to obtain certain firearms, to sell certain firearms. … The governor said it would not affect the Vermont population getting the firearms that they want.”

With less than two weeks until the Aug. 14 primary, Stern hopes the gun issue will give him the edge he needs to defeat the first-term governor. However, many Republicans are considering crossing party lines in the primaries and voting for state Sen. John Rodgers, a strong pro-gun Blue Dog Democrat.

If Scott advances past Stern, and enough voters choose Rodgers for the Democratic nomination, the November election will — to many single-issue Vermonters — be a race between a “gun-grabbing Republican” and a “pro-Second Amendment Democrat.”

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North Reports. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

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14 thoughts on “Gov. Scott goes wishy-washy on gun magazine ban he enacted

  1. The ‘occasion” of Scott’s flip, was an “overnight press report” of an impending gun attack on a vermont school.

    Now we learn 1. that the intended weapon was a shot gun, with a detailed researched plan to use it – not even part of this laws intent.

    Second, appartently since we have a feckless Court system full of pretenders, nothing is going to happen to this little gunslinging creep. Legal word games in “court precidents” says that this was not an “Attempt”. Why? The legal precident for attempt was a century old case of a man in jail who posessed a hacksaw – which he never used to escape. So until someone is shot, (or saws their way out), there was no “attempt” at a crime. Case closed –

    NO CRIME, except for law abiding gun owners to keep, swap or sell their legally bought, constitutionally protected firearms

  2. VT Gubernatorial contest:
    A vote for the devil sho’s shown his horns, or the devil(?) who hasn’t.

  3. All Vermonter should deliberately defy this law at every opportunity. The separates true Vermonter from imposters.

  4. Scott got suckered by Martin Lalonde, a phony sportsman and legislator from South Burlington. Well, he’s not really from South Burlington, he’s from away, and he moved to Vermont to run our affairs and pass nutty left wing laws on us. When I say Scott got suckered, I mean that literally. Recall this idiotic legislation was passed immediately after the Parkland tragedy. These ridiculous gun laws that got passed on us do absolutely nothing to make schools safer, and they pretend the problem was the gun, when everyone knows the reason those kids died in Parkland was because the Broward County deputies on the scene hid behind their cars, and because the FBI ignored warnings it received well in advance. How ironic it is that the response to government failure was more government and the confiscation of our 2A rights. Scott is a traitor and a sucker. I’m a lifelong conservative and I would never vote for him now under any circumstance. He lied to us. I hope I get the chance to vote for Democrat John Rodgers. He’s a real Vermonter, gun rights supporter, and a man with integrity.

  5. Then why, I’d like to ask, back when S. 55 was still in motion, when asked specifically, did he say, “I’ll look at a magazine ban.” He could’ve stopped one right there by saying, “No, that’d be going too far.”

    He’s a LIAR. And I SO hope he loses in the primary, and even if not, in the general.

  6. “At this time, Phil Scott is doing damage control because he realized he has lost support
    from his base………. He should be worried !!

    Scott forgot who put him in office, in order to appease the Majority Liberal Democrats
    agenda on Gun Control being pushed by outside sources …… Pretty Shameful !!

    As a law-abiding gun owner and knowing these ” Feel Good ” bills will do absolutely
    nothing except cost the Governor Votes.

    Scott’s new Friends ( Progressive Liberal Democrats ) got him right where they wanted
    him ……….. losing his Governorship !! ….. Be careful what we wish for they have a plan
    and the Majority.

  7. The governor has proven himself a liar,violated the oath of office and the Vermont and federal Constitutions so anything he might utter is suspect.

  8. I found out over the last few days, that an AR cannot be sold in the state when this law kicks in, if it has “high capacity magazines”. Therefore, if you don’t own one, you won’t be able to buy one from your next door neighbor. Also, pistols with over 15 round mags will become illegal. Interesting, as most 9MM SW and others come with 16 or 17 rd mags. I guess the local dump will be full of self defense weapons that can not be owned or sold.
    But it’s not a gun ban. Like selling cars without a gas tank, and you’re not allowed to install one. Ooops, didn’t mean to give rino scott any more ideas.

  9. Is this guy Scott an idiot or what ? Of course they wanted a so called assault weapon’s ban. He gave them the stepping stone to it. They all perjured themselves to pass it because under Vermont’s constitution it is considered perjury if they violate the oath they take to protect it.
    Text of Section 56:
    Oaths of Allegiance and Office
    Every officer, whether judicial, executive, or military, in authority under this State, before entering upon the execution of office, shall take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation of allegiance to this State, (unless the officer shall produce evidence that the officer has before taken the same) and also the following oath or affirmation of office, except military officers, and such as shall be exempted by the Legislature.
    The Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance
    You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you will be true and faithful to the State of Vermont and that you will not, directly or indirectly, do any act or thing injurious to the Constitution or Government thereof. (If an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury.
    The Oath or Affirmation of Office
    You do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you will faithfully execute the office of ____ for the ____ of ____ and will therein do equal right and justice to all persons, to the best of your judgment and ability, according to law. (If an oath) So help you God. (If an affirmation) Under the pains and penalties of perjury.[1]

    • I purchased a Ruger 9mm carbine a few months back – it accepts Glock 9mm magazines. The new law states that a pistol can accept a mag with 15 rounds, but a rifle may only accept 10 rounds.

      Apparently, when I purchase another Glock 9mm mag (and I don’t own a Glock 9mm), I’ll be violating the law because I purchase it knowing it will fit in my 9mm rifle.

      If the purpose of this sick legislation was to accustom otherwise law-abiding citizens to being members of the ‘criminal’ class, I welcome my day in court. Please come and get me, as I intend to break this law every single time the opportunity presents itself. My ancestors would expect no less.

    • It is either a law, or it is not. Since it IS a law, that means defying the law is illegal. Your comment is the sham.

      • ‘Defying the law’ is all the rage now – haven’t you heard? If people obeyed the laws, we’d have no need for Border Patrol or ICE. Many of our politicians (all sides) are for open borders, either for the votes or cheap labor.
        Lighten up Francis.

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