Taking action on two of the most controversial pieces of legislation this session, Gov. Phil Scott has signed an unlimited abortion bill and vetoed a gun control bill.
The first move will anger his Republican base, and the second will upset his more liberal supporters.
Scott chose to veto S.169, which would have mandated a 24-hour waiting period to purchase a handgun. The bill also would have expanded a “red-flag” law, among other provisions.
Testimony from proponents claimed the wait-time would provide a cooling-off period in the case that someone was purchasing a gun impulsively with the intention of committing suicide.
Opponents argued the wait would keep guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, including those who need them in urgent situations such as domestic violence.
But Scott signed H.57, which codifies access to abortion at any point of pregnancy. Proponents say the legislation is necessary since the federal Roe v. Wade abortion standard could be overturned under by a conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court.
Opponents decried H.57 as the most anti-human-life law in the country since it offers no protection for viable fetuses all the way to the moment of birth.
Regarding the gun bill, two of the most dedicated proponents were Rob and Alyssa Black, parents of Andrew Black who shot himself on Dec. 6, 2018, at their home in Essex. The couple visited the Statehouse multiple times this session to tell lawmakers that a waiting period could prevent future suicides.
They issued a statement shortly after Scott vetoed the bill.
“We are deeply disappointed that Gov. Scott has vetoed the life-saving handgun buyer waiting period bill,” they wrote on Twitter. “We all understand that suicide is most often an impulsive act, including the governor. He was provided the same information that both the House and Senate were provided. They created a thoughtful compromise. It was disappointing that he went political.”
Among the bill’s opponents was Chris Bradley, president of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs. On May 28 to the Senate Judiciary Committee, he characterized the debate over the waiting period as “the right to self-defense versus the intent to save a life.”
He cited statistics showing 3,380 relief from abuse filings for 2018. Bradley emphasized that for each of those filings, the victim had to convince a judge that there was a serious threat to life and safety, and that a wait of 24 hours could be the difference between life and death.
Gun Owners of Vermont President Eddie Cutler told True North last month that if Scott would veto the bill, he might be able to “forgive and forget” the gun laws that he signed in 2018, which received a hostile reaction from Second Amendment supporters. That bill, S.55, included universal background checks, a ban on standard-capacity magazines, and raising the gun-purchase age to 21.
On the abortion front, Scott has inflamed his conservative base. This year the March for Life in Montpelier was substantially larger than the pro-abortion Women’s March.
In a statement issued Monday, Mary Beerworth, executive director of Vermont Right to Life, criticized the governor.
“By putting his signature on H. 57, Governor Phil Scott endorses unlimited, unregulated abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy,” she said. “His signature signals his preference for protecting the business of abortion over other life-affirming options in Vermont statute.”
The group says while Scott has always leaned pro-choice, in the past he has supported legislation for parental involvement for minors considering abortion. He’s also expressed concern over late-term abortions and does not approve of taxpayers funding abortions.
“With his signature, Gov. Scott has rejected any regulation of abortion, abortionists, and abortion clinics, including measures to protect the health and safety of girls and women. Scott has embraced without reservation the agenda of the powerful pro-abortion lobby,” the group’s press release states.
Scott had received a 100 percent endorsement from Planned Parenthood before his 2018 re-election.
Pro-abortion supporters were quick to celebrate his signature of the bill on social media, including Twitter.
Vermont 👏🏽 does 👏🏻 it 👏🏿 again 👏🏾
Thanks to the Democratic-led House and Senate, the nation’s broadest protections for reproductive rights are now law in the state of Vermont. #vtpoli pic.twitter.com/1aUnxtX3SO
— Vermont Democrats (@vtdems) June 11, 2019
As a Republican governor of one of the bluest states in the nation, Scott continues to walk a fine line between his minority conservative support and majority opposition party support. Yesterday’s actions continue to illustrate that he cannot make everyone happy in this peculiar political position — even the lieutenant governor, David Zuckerman.
As President of the Senate, I sign every bill before it goes to the Governor. I was honored to be able to sign S.169 to create a 24 hour waiting period in order to reduce suicide deaths in Vermont. I am very disappointed the Governor vetoed the bill. #vtpoli
— Dave Zuckerman (@DaveZuckermanVT) June 11, 2019
Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North Reports. Send him news tips at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.
11 thoughts on “Gov. Scott vetoes gun-purchase waiting period, signs unlimited abortion”
I may not always agree with Phil Scott but I voted for him because he does not try to appease the right or left but looks at each issue and votes the way he believes is right, regardless of whose vote he may lose. I think we have one of the best Governors in the US. .
Here is what I wrote him:
You should not be supporting a women’s right to choose to kill another person. If a woman is allowed to conspire to kill another person – should all Vermont’s be allowed to conspire to kill another person? Of course not. The absurdity is beyond measure. There is another PERSON to consider when the woman is speaking to her doctor. There is another PERSON – a VERMONTER who you have just ripped of their rights. These children are killed in a very inhumane way with no pain medication even though they are able to feel pain starting at eight weeks. When death comes to you – hopefully at a ripe old age – even though you are supporting others not being given a chance to live at all – I wonder how painful your death will be. I’m sure – when the time comes – if needed – you will be afforded all measures of comfort. I wonder how you sleep at night knowing that you will be afforded that comfort while allowing innocent babies to be tortured in extreme pain – all within the framework of allowing an irresponsible woman’s right to choose to kill her baby. https://www.liveaction.org/news/research-now-shows-reborn-babies-feel-pain-very-early-by-8-weeks/
With great disappointment – once again – because Vermont get’s it wrong – every single time.
We need to start looking in earnest for a tong challenger to Scott who would be a strong candidate in the general election. I believe Lawrence Zupan would be a very good choice. I hope we can encourage him to take on that challenge.
Sorry, a failing keyboard. for a STRONG challenger
Your comment is prudent in light of a interview Gov.Scott did with NPR as he indicates he is not done with gun control for Vermont.
“As I’ve shown, and you’ve reported on,” Scott told reporters, “gun safety is an area I’m willing to advocate for and support, which is not something I believe any other governor in Vermont’s history can say.”
And Scott said he’s open to passing yet more restrictions on gun ownership in the future. Last year Scott convened a “Community Violence Prevention Taskforce.” According to Scott, the panel recently delivered a draft report to the governor.
“To be clear I still need to review this report, but I know it does include further gun safety measures, which I will take a serious look at,” Scott said.
Scott declined to say what those “gun safety” proposals consisted of, though he said they do not include a waiting period for gun purchases.
Well, doesn’t that just give Vermonters a warm fuzzy feeling?
The sadness that I feel over H.57 is intense. I simply do not understand why so many in VT appear to feel that it is necessary to codify permitting VT citizens to kill a baby at the moment of birth. The proponents of this frightening law say no one would ever stoop that low and allow their child to be “terminated” at the dawn of life. I tend to believe them. It would take a pretty viscous person to do such a thing. Unfortunately, there is a doctor in Philadelphia in jail for that very act.
Can anybody provide me with an explanation as to why this bill is necessary ?
For those in support of the constitutional amendment, you will need to do this. You cannot dodge the question. I think that you may find the resistance to this to be significant.
On one hand, this Bozo thinks he’s saving lives by imposing a waiting period; and then he turns around and approves murdering babies. Something wrong with this man’s thinking. Unless, of course, he’s banking on Vermonters being more upset over guns and won’t dump him over baby killing.
Totally agree with you…..this governot has traded votes for dead babies. It is or will be legal to outright kill a baby a day before it is born. Scott , get ready for retirement, your history.
He is wrong on everything except S169 and he expect nothing for it from the gun community,as he sold their Article 16 rights cheaply last year,he can Never make up for last year,Ever.
Well, I want to give the Governor ” Credit ” for vetoing S.169, as we all knew this was nothing
more than a feel-good bill playing on the heartstring of a Family in mourning, by the foolish
Progressive Democrats for there anti-gun agenda ……..shameful !!.
But the Governor signing H.57 is another blemish on your career, this bill was nothing more than
a bill to ” Kill ” Vermonter’s. If you get knocked up this day and age your an Idiot, birth control
has a pretty common supply of ways to achieve ” not ” becoming pregnant.
And then the Legislators and yes the Governor state ” If we can save one life ” when it comes
to gun control, but in another breath, we can kill any and all unborn …….Disgusting
Vermont deserves better
Well said – we do deserve better. Unfortunately, when Flip Flop Phil is done playing Governor, Zuckerberg (the ‘farmer’) will likely take his place, and I’m betting he’s capable of doing more damage to our rights than we realize. Plan accordingly.
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