Threats over mask mandate carry three-year prison sentence

By Guy Page

A new clause in the Senate ‘criminal threatening’ bill would levy prison sentences of up to three years to store customers who make “true threats” after being asked to wear a mask, the Senate Judiciary Committee learned Thursday.

The addition to S.265 requested by Chair Richard Sears (D-Bennington) also would cover non-compliance threats by Slate Ridge, the firearms training facility, legislative counsel lawyer Ben Novogroski told the committee. In fact, it would cover true threats against someone attempting to comply with any state law, rule or order.

state of Vermont

Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington

The new language reads: “ A person who violates [this law] with the intent to impede, intimidate, interfere or prevent a person from complying with state laws or rules state court or administrative orders or state executive orders shall be imprisoned not more than three years or find not more than five thousand dollars or both.”

Compared to earlier drafts of the bill, this draft enlarges the scope of illegal behavior but reduces the maximum prison sentence from five years to three. The bill already included state officials, including legislators, as reported in Vermont Daily Chronicle.

Here’s the transcript from the YouTube video, edited for brevity:

Ben Novogroski, Legislative Council lawyer (one minute, 50 second mark): “What we’ve done is update a few sections to cover situations that Sen. Sears had indicated – for violations of public health orders or a situation potentially like Slate Ridge.

“What this subsection contemplates is if an individual or business owner is put, if a true threat is levied against them for their compliance with say a masked mandate, or if there is a court order to stay away or to cease an activity and there are threats that are made for complying with that order, this would criminalize the threat to try and impede or intimidate the person from complying with one of those orders. Based on the community discussion, the penalty would be three years or a fine of not more than five thousand dollars, or both.”

Sen. Alice Nitka (D-Windsor) asked if it would cover an argument between a customer and a store owner or employee about wearing a mask.

Novogroski: “Our First Amendment protections really do protect debate and some pretty crude language. But if it rose to the level of a true threat where someone really feared for their life, or serious bodily injury, then this is something that could fall under this section.”

Sen. Joe Benning (R-Caledonia) wondered what constitutes a true threat: “What I struggle with is where the line of demarcation between hyperbole, and the decision of an individual on the receiving end of that hyperbole, now becomes the basic building blocks of a felony charge. I’m running into my own observation of what the first amendment is supposed to be about, trying to balance that, and I’m struggling with this bill as a result of that.”

However, Benning added he is comfortable moving towards the heightened standard of protection given threatened federal judges and other federal officials.

The committee also discussed reducing the crime from a felony to a misdemeanor. The bill will be discussed, and possibly voted on, on Tuesday.

Guy Page is publisher of the Vermont Daily Chronicle. Reprinted with permission.

Images courtesy of Public domain and state of Vermont

44 thoughts on “Threats over mask mandate carry three-year prison sentence

  1. Like the BLM flags and those pretentious “We Believe…” yard signs, Masks have become another religious symbol to the Left, a way to show fealty to the cause. Mass Formation Psychosis has roped in all these mindless drones because they don’t have anything meaningful in their lives to focus on. The answer is to just stop adhering to this mask nonsense. It’s about control for them, that’s all. If you take that away they’re powerless. I’m in and out of places in Waitsfield, Warren, SB and Williston all the time and nobody says boo to me when I stroll in with no mask. Do I get a few dirty looks and eye rolls from the obnoxious “true believers?” Yes, but who cares? I’m an adult, I can handle it. When I go to the REI Store and get chased around by the Mask Nazis, I’m polite, I smile and thank them for the mask, and stick it in my pocket. When they breathlessly run over and tell me I can’t check out without a mask on I’ll put one on just long enough to see the card reader say “transaction accepted” and the mask immediately comes right off and gets placed on the counter. I take my time putting away my card and gathering my things. I smile and cheerfully say “have a nice day” as the Mask Nazi scowls at me like a school marm in disapproval with his or her arms crossed over their chest to let me know they’re serious. Then I take my time leaving the store, I may even browse a few more items. They really hate it when I do that! These people are just Authoritarian bullies and cowards. If enough people stand up to them by politely going about their business, they’ll go away.

  2. In a clever little article in VT digger, Benning talks of the divided party, the “trump” camp and Scott camp, clever, trying to dis Thayer.

    No it the Biden camp of the Republican Party and the American Republic wing of the Republican Party..

    Until the party splits there will be no peace. There will be progress.

    With three different parties you’ll have one that loves America and two that are pimpimg for the new world order.

    VERMONT now is the time to make history, WALK away, reveal the truth.

    You don’t need the national wing to have a political party. Do you know how much money would flood into you pockets from around the nation is you said, bye bye to the party of uncle joe?

    National ain’t gonna help you, they a full of thieves to. Just think of all the trump supporters across the U.S. that would help you out. That is aside from the 112,704 in VERMONT.

    Not all divorces are bad, not all parting is bad. Instead of fighting you can build and fast!

    They want you to stay and fight within the party, that gives them power, that also keeps you powerless, their true goal.

  3. Re: “Senator Benning, despite your vote, did you express the opinion that you are “… comfortable moving towards the heightened standard of protection given threatened federal judges and other federal officials.”???

    It’s been a couple of days now since I posted my query to Sen. Benning. And we know, within reasonable doubt at least, that he’s reading these comments.

    So it’s telling that neither Sen. Benning nor Sen. Sears are commenting. They don’t give a damn what any of us think. They are ‘pretenders’.

  4. Instead of jail, these people should be given medals, medals for fighting stupidity.

    VERMONT is not leading the way in anything but ruin and corruption.

    This law is a perfect example of how far from reality our state has become.

    500,000 people in the United states needlessly died because people believed lies an were not allowed to practice medicine, to”follow the science” as is so easily tossed around. We’ve known this easily for almost two years.

    And who do we have leading the VTGOP? The biggest NWO pimp in the business. Lockem’ up if they don’t follow my insanely stupid decrees.

    VERMONTERS suggest thy put on your clothes, it’s cold outside, the truth is coming and it is freezing cold.

  5. You can walk into a store and shoplift just under $1000, and if you are wearing a mask while shoplifting, you won’t get threatened with a fine and jail time. Why do Vermonters keep electing these liberal idiots. Does 60% of this state vote democrat just because and are not looking at the results of their voting decisions. WAKE UP VERMONT!!!

  6. Wow, this sounds like the modern-day ” Gestapo “, tactics and we know what happened
    to them, time to stand and take these clowns out of power, it behooves us to do it now
    before they ruin our way of life…………… wake up people, they don’t care !!

  7. Having been accused of being anti- VTGOP, by celestial mites of dust, I’ll proffer this.

    Let’s have an ad/story on True North Reports, that headlines all those in the VTGOP that are against masks (they don’t’ work), for medical freedom for treatment (ivermectin does). Have separate account for them in the VTGOP, I’ll put up $500 for the ad. I will pay for the first 1,000 postcards (and postage) mailed out to those on the list (112,704), content meeting mutual approval.

    This way people will know who to support. I will donate to every candidate that signs up.

    Then the money taken in, 25% of it goes to notifying others who voted, where to put your money and who to support, so it can snowball.

    My guess? Within one month these candidates will have raised more money than the entire VTGOP combined.

    I’m against Marxism, atheism and people who claim to defend the truth and our republic and don’t do it, very much so.

    • ps

      Canadian Truckers earned 8 million dollars 2xs within a span of 2 weeks for standing up to the truth.

      People do support those who defend those who can’t speak up for themselves who are powerless against tyrants. Do a fund raiser to help jettison the NWO pimps from the party and I suspect the national support would be OVERWHELMING!!!!!

      Or should we get national and world exposure for “Let’s go Brandon” shopping spree and Vermont is giving away $10,000 per person to have people move to our state. Yeah the choice is ours to make and the two above are LAME.

      • There notified this organization, the VTGOP and every county chair in the VTGOP…..we’ll see what happens.

    • Frankly, I was running for governor in 2020 and told everyone (that I could find) that a) the covid response was unconstitutional, b) it was a clear plan to coerce the people into vaccination – yes this was before the vaxes were rolled out, c) it was Scott’s mandates that were harming VT, not Covid as he claimed. I was not covered or allowed to write to papers. That is just the start of the freedom I want to see. This was well before Klar dared talked about the vaccine agenda, that I saw it. The violations of the Nuremberg Code, or the VAERS. I offered truthful leadership. I now have other plans…

      • I know, you were all over it from the beginning. I think you’ll find I was saying it was all a scam too, two weeks in. Not many were willing to speak up.

        And clearly, even now people are unwilling or completely uninformed. Many who know are still not standing up for the truth.

        The thought that you could be arrested because you spoke up on something that doesn’t work, isn’t constitutional, and is wrong on so many levels proves how corrupt Vermont truly is.

  8. Isn’t it already illegal to threaten someone with violence? To tack this on specifically to potential verbal threats relating to someone refusing to wear a mask (that doesn’t provide any protection and only signifies that you are subservient to the State) is typical socialist Vermont lunacy.

  9. Senator Benning, despite your vote, did you express the opinion that you are “… comfortable moving towards the heightened standard of protection given threatened federal judges and other federal officials.”???

  10. I’m through with government attempting to dictate every aspect of our lives. No branch of it will get compliance from me. They need to learn that the individual citizen comes first!

    • The Dem/Prog party platform and more government programs to employ Dem/Prog career bureaucrats come first.

      Successful Vermonters come last, while getting hosed to pay for it all, as part of “taxing the rich”

    • we pay them…they work for us, somehow that has been lost in the last 50 years with increasing boldness breaking the laws they supposedly are suppose uphold. We have laws in place to protect people from threats……use them. and Term Limits is what our legislature ought to work on this year. term limits with NO special consideration following this “service”, which means no paycheck for life or perks. our Forefathers intended citizen gov, go do the work and go back to your job/business/farm upon leaving (in a timely manner). What we have now is life time politicians lining their pockets and being arrogant about it……..and pitting us against one another which of course is a smoke screen to keep us from really focusing on what they are doing……….Im tired, Im sick of blame game, sick of corruption. YOU MR/MRS/MS whatever Politician…….work for us

  11. I’m only 2/3 of the way through this video.

    Now I’ve known masks were just stupid to begin with, I”ve worn them on construction sites and they don’t work in keeping big particles out much less micro particles.

    But I’m learning much more, more about our children. I highly encourage everyone to watch this. If our leaders are doing this intentionally, after or while knowing what happens to our school children. We have just witnessed true evil we are dealing with sociopaths and psychopaths. We need to remove them from office.

    What say you VTGOP on this most pressing issue? What fn’ side are you guys one?

    • Neil..
      Jordan Peterson retweeted a Tweet that made us aware that speech delays in children have rising 364%.
      Jordan Peterson retweeted this and said something like “You can’t fight back if you cannot speak”.

      Do you get that they are doing NOW?
      He sure does.
      Yes, it’s beyond evil.. these people doing this to our kids are sick.

      • The video below is staggering, when you see how quickly the little kids respond to a blank face, it’s terribly sad. I had no idea what a negative effect this is having on our children.

        And here VERMONT is, in the communist side of history.

        Great worthwhile video.

  12. A law to prevent speech about an unconstitutional mandate? Isn’t that an illegal
    double jeopardy? What law we do need is against making illegal laws in the first place. If you got rid of the illegal mandate we wouldn’t need to be wasting time on
    stupid laws to begin with. Wise up like the rest of the world is now..Truckers for Freedom…..
    These D’snP’s and there’re nazi laws need to be thrown out for abuse of Vermonters

    • Free speech can only happen, if grown up people and small children, are not scare mongered into obedience and silence.

      Emotional/psychological scarring of grown ups and small children is officially sanctioned, as part of centralized command/control, in this case, forcing people to wear useless blue-rag masks

      Why is our elected Governor not speaking up against all this nonsense?

      He has a bully pulpit, but does not use it

      • exactly……..He can make major waves if he would only get some …well we need someone to Speak up…….NOW
        Governor Scott, I’ve been a supporter always, but no longer. When there is NO discussion related to other views…….there is NO Democracy
        SPEAK UP NOW……..

  13. It’s over. Except in the Socialist Republic of Vermont. The “mask mandates” will go on for years in VT while the rest of the world has moved on. We were considering a visit this spring, and I had NO intention of following any mask mandates, but now that I may be arrested for noncompliance I’ll have to rethink that. How totalitarian.

    • Your home town has mask mandates! Waitsfield, Fayston and Warren, commie central. Check out the video above…

    • Steve,
      It will be over after November, because people will show up en masse to vote out the socialistic Dem/Prog usurpers of our American heritage, and destroyers of our private sector economy

  14. Would one of our ruling elite consider it a “threat” if someone took a picture of them violating their own rules about masks and called attention to it? Just wondering…

  15. How Convenient, Precious. Little Dick Sears is a servant to those who would put us all in prison for standing up for freedom & liberty. If Governor Scott could veto one bill, this is the one that should be vetoed! Please call the Statehouse…they literally want to put Vermonters in jail…just not the true criminals!!!!

  16. A lot mote thinking and sane debate is required to go that route.
    I hope Scott will have enough courage to veto this GOVERNMENT COERCIVE OVERREACH BILL

  17. The most uncivil debates or conversations I have had in Vermont have been with my so called ‘representatives’ – who have no problem responding rudely, with privilege, and indemnity – to personal notes to look at information they clearly are not aware of that affects not only my health, but the health of every Vermonter, plant, tree, bee, living water, air, and microbe and wildlife.
    There are REAL fears and there are manufactured fears.
    Right now, Benning is legislating manufactured fears, while failing to address the herd of elephants in the room: the REAL threats…not to legislators and fascists… but to Vermonters’ health, and future here.
    Benning and his ilk – oligarchs and fascists – rule from their Glass Housed Golden Domes – and tell us we must eat cake to be invited to their party.
    And if you aren’t a member of Death Cult stealing the living wisdom and burgeoning hopes of out Nation and the world… then are you are the enemy.
    Its a lot simpler than that for me.
    Benning and everyone under the Golden Dome work for Mammon/Marduk/Ccp.
    And I work for God and do Gods’ bidding.
    No where does God say: Sacrifice your children, comply with cutting off oxygen to your brain so you will get and remain dumb (oxygen deprivation to the brain is nearly impossible to reverse), and take a poison death jab to live.
    I am perfect as I am. I breathe freely, wholly and fully.
    And I question if Senator Benning has ever had a conversation with God.

    And in case you were wondering: AIO = All Is One under God Indivisible

    • Relax AIO, God and I chat regularly. And if the author of this story had simply waited to write his story until after the committee had completed it’s discussion on this bill, he could have written in that I’m voting against it. Unfortunately he caught us in mid conversation as we were deliberating and left you with the wrong impression of where I was going with it.

        • What is the VTGOP doing? Anything? Yeah the inaction isn’t just driving me nuts it’s driving 112,704 other people nuts too!

          We elect people to defend our constitution, truth. Meanwhile we don’t have them standing up in mass, even if it’s only one person, Vickie Strong against all the nonsense. Dam straight I’m upset.

          People needlessly died, people I know because this state, this VTGOP didn’t stand up for the truth and defend it.

          These people should be in jail, for needlessly killing people and I”m the bad guy for calling this garbage out. You sir doth love the power and party the VTGOP giveth thee. Use it to betterment of mankind, or continue to hear people complain.

          Continue to have NO MONEY in your account because you don’t do the will of the people.

          No back to you groveling, complaining governor, under the pseudonymn S6ardust to tell us what wonderful things are coming your way. Thou doth protest too much about thy lock down, come come fall in line Mr. Johnson, love thy lockdown. And don’t spaketh up, or thy will be jailed! You doth know they are doing it in Canada. Keep speaking up Mr. Johnson and we’ll send the state troopers your way……is that what you want? It is isn’t it?

      • Sen. Benning… I am going to take you at your word since I have met and spoken with you personally several times, and this perspective of you came out of left field. I considered that you were ‘one of us’ until I read this.
        Isn’t that sneaky? qui bono?
        I’m relieved to hear that you and God commune regularly.
        When you know you know.
        And I’m not talking Q.
        Thank you for this response. I really appreciate it.
        NOW… please… represent US.

      • Senator Benning, despite your vote, did you express the opinion that you are “… comfortable moving towards the heightened standard of protection given threatened federal judges and other federal officials.”???

      • Having the conversation …go as far as it did is enough for me to add to my list of reasons Term Limits are more than needed, and knowing I am NOT represented in even a little way by my government, though i must pay my tax dollars to pay them. whats needed is a great Big dose of Common Sense……starting in Montpelier, and moving right on up to Washington…..
        I think I speak for most when I say We The People…Have Had It with the corruption on high, the lack of taking care of truly important issues to do with how we live in this state with such high costs and going up as we speak…….just call me the angry older woman who has worked her life…and what i see is pure crazy making……intentional im sure……..

    • And I wonder if *you* have had a conversation with JC…”Depart from me I never knew you’ ring a bell much lol

  18. Seems to me that “with the intent to impede, intimidate, interfere or prevent a person from complying with state laws or rules state court or administrative orders or state executive orders shall be imprisoned”, could be twisted and used get someone who failed to get their car inspected, or any other little rule. Its written sort of like a ‘failure to drive in a careful and prudent manor” some states have…

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