Gov. Scott vetoes S.30 gun bill, offers ‘path forward’

Montpelier, Vt. — On February 22, Governor Phil Scott returned without signature and vetoed S.30 and sent the following letter to the General Assembly explaining his decision and outlining a path forward:

February 22, 2022

The Honorable John Bloomer, Jr.
Secretary of the Senate
115 State House
Montpelier, VT 05633-5401

Dear Mr. Bloomer:

Pursuant to Chapter II, Section 11 of the Vermont Constitution, I’m returning S. 30, An act relating to prohibiting possession of firearms within hospital buildings without my signature.

In 2018, I called for and signed the most comprehensive gun safety measures in our state’s history. We established universal background check requirements; authorized extreme risk protection orders (i.e., “red flag” laws), providing tools to prevent someone from having a gun if there is credible evidence they may harm themselves or others; strengthened the ability of law enforcement to seize firearms from those accused of domestic violence; enhanced age requirements; and prohibited the sale and possession of bump stocks and large capacity magazines. This was a comprehensive, and historic, set of policies that take reasonable steps to help keep firearms out of the hands of people who should not have them. It’s my belief that we need to give these new provisions more time to be fully understood and utilized, and that the Legislature should focus on educating Vermonters on these changes – and on addressing Vermont’s mental health crisis – before additional gun laws are passed.

However, as I’ve also said, I’m open to a discussion about improving existing law to address the so-called “Charleston Loophole” and I’m offering a path forward below. This refers to a provision in federal law that provides automatic approval to someone who is buying a gun if a federal background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (also known as NICS) doesn’t produce a “red light” (i.e., reporting they are ineligible) within three business days.

S. 30 increases that timeframe from three days to an unlimited amount of time without acknowledging that an application expires in 30 days. So instead of holding the federal government accountable to complete the background check in a timely manner, it shifts all the burden away from government – where responsibility was intentionally placed in federal law – entirely onto the citizen. Law abiding citizens who become the victims of a government administrative error must themselves gather all applicable law enforcement and court records and try to understand and navigate a complex maze of federal bureaucratic process to try to rectify their “yellow” status.

For these reasons, I believe going from three to effectively 30 days is excessive and unreasonable for law-abiding citizens who wish to purchase a firearm for their own personal safety or for other lawful and constitutionally protected purposes.

However, I’m willing to work with the Legislature to find a path forward that gives the federal government more time to fulfill its obligations to complete background checks, without denying law-abiding citizens of their right to a fair and reasonable process.

A more reasonable standard would be to increase the current three-day waiting period to seven business days to allow the federal government additional time to resolve issues and make a final determination.

Given this bill’s effective date of July 1, 2022, the Legislature has ample time to address my concerns and send me a bill I can sign.

Based on the objections outlined above I’m returning this legislation without my signature pursuant to Chapter II, Section 11 of the Vermont Constitution.


Philip B. Scott


Image courtesy of Public domain

9 thoughts on “Gov. Scott vetoes S.30 gun bill, offers ‘path forward’

  1. The lefties created new a new language for firearms to sell to their choir for more gun control.

    Saturday night special = small pistol or revolver used for self defense. Sounds ominous.

    Assault weapon (AR 15) = Armalite Rifle (AR) designed and sold by the Armalite Co. Anything can be an assault weapon if used to assault a person (IE fists).

    Charleston Loophole = The federal law allowing 3 days to stop a sale after a problem has occurred in the background check. Allows the government 3 days to correct it. If not found or corrected the sale is allowed to be completed. The Loophole was created by the left after a church shooting in Charleston, SC. The shooter Dylan Rooff was allowed to purchase a Glock pistol after a 3 day hold on the sale. He used the gun some 2 months later to kill church goers at a bible study.
    He was actually legal to purchase the glock in the first place. (no loophole) Just another insane person without a criminal history to stop the sale.

    Weapons of war = Almost any firearm, sword, club, bomb, cannon or anything could be called a weapon of war. The controllers use it to describe a semi-automatic firearm or which comprise 85% of all firearms currently being sold for legal activities.

    High capacity magazines = Standard round capacity magazines that are standard equipment that is made for specific firearms from the factory. The goal here is to make them illegal to own. Most standard pistols are sold with 15 round magazines. A trained firearms user can change magazines in under 2 seconds. Vermont changed it’s law on magazines capacity to 10 rounds for rifles and 15 for pistols in 2018. Magazines already in possession at the time were grandfathered and are legal to own. There are thousands of them in Vermont held by responsible gun owners. The law actually infringes on the second amendment by outlawing certain firearms that come with standard magazines of more than 10 and 15 rounds.

    These are just a few of the made-up terminology used to scare unknowing people to support their never-ending quest to disarm the American public. We need to look no further than north to our border with Canada to see how a government can rule over an unarmed society.

    • It’s rather strange when the federal government puts out a RFP (Request for Proposals) to purchase selective-fire arms, they’re referred to as PDW’s (Personal Defense Weapons).

      When the public owns any semi-auto firearm, those are termed ‘assault weapons’ by the phony press and Constitution hating politicians.

  2. The Governor may have ” Vetoed ” S30 for now but will allow these feckless progressive
    democRATs to come up with plan #2, which he promoted in his statement …….how pathetic.

    First, of Governor there is no such thing as the “Charleston Loophole” this was just a talking
    point from the left, and you swallowed it hook line and sinker. So maybe the Governor or one
    of his minions should go read and understand the ” Federal ” guideline for obtaining a firearm.

    Yes Governor keep listening to these feckless fools, thinking they can handle the Federal gun
    laws better than them, Hell they can even balance a budget but they want to hinder law-abiding
    citizens…..The Clown Bus has come to town, and it parked in Montpelier and they are taking
    the Governor for a ride.

    The Governor should have just vetoed the bill, will “NO” stipulations to rewrite, not the leader
    I thought I voted for, a lesson learned for me, and my family !!

  3. What??? Let’s have the Federal Government further infringe on the individual’s right to bear arms so the State won’t have to take the blame for it and somehow this is a good idea?

  4. One of the few things he’s ever done right, but I suspect he vetoed it because he expects an override.

  5. If the leftist commies want to do something about armed killers then take away D’nP’s rights to
    to own firearms.. since the majority of mass killers are D’s or their flock.. a clue for the clueless
    in Montpeculiar criminals don’t give a dam about your laws if they wish to do harm they will
    find a way. We don’t need thousands of laws to protect us just the right to protect ourselves…
    not infringed upon either..

  6. The demoKKKrats know full well there is a good reason for the time limit for doing the NICS background check, to prevent outlaw liberal jurisdictions from creating deliberate delays through bureaucratic resistance. That is precisely what the anti-2A groups are deceptively advocating for. They know full well that it is not a “loophole”, but like the Bill of Rights is a limit on government’s power over the people. The very fact that there is a background check required for someone to avail themself of a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT is compromise enough. 72 hours was time enough for Congress to pass, and it is time enough today, time enough for the federal government to prove a person is not qualified to purchase a firearm. If they can’t prove it in 72 hours, then tough. Stand tough, Gov. Scott. Most of us have your back.

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