Two new gun bills introduced at the Vermont Statehouse

MONTPELIER — Gun control lawmakers have introduced two bills in the new legislative session that would impose a handful of limits on the rights of Vermonters to possess a gun.

The bills are H.610, which relates to guns and domestic violence, and H.600, which pertains to suspicious activity reporting for firearms.

According to gun rights advocates, the bills came without advance warning.

“We had no advanced notice of these bills,” Eddie Cutler, president of Gun Owners of Vermont, told True North. “The anti-gun crowd and anti-self-defense crowd were well prepared, and we weren’t even informed that these bills were having hearings.”

According to the bill’s language, the aim of H.600 is to require firearms dealers in certain cases to file “suspicious activity reports” with the Commissioner of Public Safety about people “who have purchased, attempted to purchase, or inquired about purchasing firearms.”

state of Vermont

Rep. Linda Joy Sullivan, D-Dorset

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Linda Joy Sullivan, D-Dorset.

Evan Hughes, vice president of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, told True North that H.600 is essentially an expansion of the red flag laws passed over the years in Vermont and other states. Second Amendment defenders say these laws — also known as extreme risk protection orders —  bypass due process while disarming law-abiding citizens.

He said both bills have serious “constitutional and structural problems.”

“The Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs has long held that legislation should be based on sound public policy and in compliance with the state and federal constitutions,” Hughes said.

The domestic violence bill, H.610, seeks to “eliminate the ‘default proceed’ process created in Federal firearms background check law (commonly referred to as the ‘Charleston loophole’) by prohibiting the transfer of a firearm unless the National Instant Criminal Background Check System has affirmatively determined that the transferee is not prohibited from possessing firearm.”

That bill is sponsored by Rep. Maxine Grad, D-Moretown, and Rep. Martin LaLonde, D-South Burlington.

Cutler explained the so-caled Charleston loophole refers to one case out of over 82 million FBI background checks. That one case is when Dylann Roof, the mass murderer convicted in the 2015 Charleston, S.C., church shooting, was allowed to purchase the .45-caliber handgun he used to kill nine black churchgoers after the FBI didn’t complete a background check within three business days.

“That was the only one incident that something like that ever happened,” Cutler said.


Eddie Cutler, president of Gun Owners of Vermont

Cutler explained that if H.610 passes, Vermonters must always wait for the FBI to complete its background check. He said while checks typically happen in a matter of days, sometimes they take months.

The bill also would prevent anyone with a relief-from-abuse order from possessing a firearm until the order is lifted. If the person owns guns, a court would obtain information on their location for potential confiscation purposes.

Health care workers also play a key role in H.610. They are called upon “to inform a law enforcement officer when the health care provider reasonably believes that a patient poses an extreme risk of causing harm to himself or herself or another person by purchasing, possessing, or receiving a dangerous weapon or by having a dangerous weapon.”

Cutler said the language is so broad that it allows for a concerned family member to prevent someone from having a gun. He added that those with a relief-from-abuse order would be prohibited from entering any home with guns inside — an estimated 70 percent of Vermont households possess guns.

Last year Gov. Phil Scott vetoed a bill that would have required a 24-hour waiting period to purchase a gun. The year before, Scott signed bills that outlawed standard capacity magazines, required background checks for private gun sales, and raised the age to purchase a gun to 21.

Other gun bills being introduced this year would prevent Vermonters from carrying semi-automatic weapons in most public places, including parks, stores, restaurants, airports, churches, auditoriums, theaters and more.

Cutler noted many of these places are considered private property, which in his opinion sets a new precedent in government intervention.

Bill Moore, firearms policy analyst for the Vermont Traditions Coalition, said he’s not surprised that there are more gun law proposals this session. He did say he didn’t think they would forego due process.

“What does surprise me is the extended reach of these restrictions, and particularly with chairperson Grad’s bill, reaching into and trampling on due process with regards to restrictions of an individual, constitutional right.”

A hearing on H.610 is scheduled to take place in the House Judiciary Committee at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, in Room 10 of the Vermont Statehouse. Cutler and Moore are among 14 witnesses scheduled to give testimony.

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

Images courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, state of Vermont and TNR

27 thoughts on “Two new gun bills introduced at the Vermont Statehouse

  1. If you’ll recall the gun control legislation started with a mental jerk in Poultney threatening to do some shoot-ups. He was stopped, the only case in VT as such.
    Rebecca Kelley, spokeswoman for Republican Gov. Phil Scott commented on a recent close-call in Vermont, in which Jack Sawyer, 18, of Poultney, Vermont, was arrested for allegedly planning a shooting at Fair Haven Union High School. The plan was foiled by Angela McDevitt, a friend of the shooter from New York.

    Since then and the other gun happenings around the country Scott signed many gun bills. The Legislature and him seemed to need an excuse to open the flood gates for all kinds of non-stop anti-gun legislation. Why a small controlled situation becomes a volcano that needed plugging? I wish I could be in a position to learn how the outside influences and money arrives in VT to pass all this legislation. We know the money sources, but I’d like to know the mechanisms. Money changes peoples minds and the Legislature gun controllers Sullivan, Baruth, LaLonde, Johnson, Grad, Bates, Balint, Scott to name a few, surely are recipients. Some how they think the people that voted for them are gun illiterate and need control.

    The New World Order group and alike also are involved and can be seen in other states, VA for instance. Interesting to see how that’s being played. That being known, VT is run by corrupt people.

  2. Tell me something, Ms Sullivan introduced a bill (perhaps with Chris Bates D-Bennington) titled:
    H.211 An act relating to prohibiting the use of air guns to take big game

    This a problem with these people in Montpelier. Just what does she know about air rifles? I think the Montpelier crowd pastes the pending bills on a wall and throw darts and what is hit, they’ll co-sponsor. I can imagine she used such a rifle inn the wilds and determined she didn’t like it, so desires to outlaw it. That’s the mentality. How can you respect them? What does she define as “big game”, anything with four legs?

  3. Vermont is one of the safest placed in the World not just US due to Constitutional carry and law abiding gun owners.
    These bills clearly are aimed at criminalizing law abiding citizens from self defense and ability to protect their families and others when and if attacked by criminals who dont care and never will care about laws.
    One can take a look at diversified anti gun states and the extraordinary amount of violent crimes often committed by other than gun weapons etc.
    These traitors will not stop till they criminalize all law abiding gun owners and turn VT into a leftist run failed state like California and many others.

  4. We must vote these Socialist out of office or else ordinary Vermonters will be just a flock of sheep
    controlled by Montpelier.

    • Well, clearly the majority of voters already are sheep, which is how these wanna be dictators are elected.

    • Exactly. They are not even hiding their communist intents anymore as they are even talking about sending conservatives to gulags as Bernie campaign stated in undercover video revealed few days ago by Veritas project patriots.

  5. It looks like the anti-gunners are attempting to set the stage for a mass shooting in this state so that they can impose follow up bills/laws that will further violate our second amendment rights. They truly believe that an evil person with an semi-automatic firearm is going to abide by a gun free zone sign. Who voted these idiots into office anyway?

    • I’m sure none of them believe that gun control will stop those who commit crimes with firearms. Rather, they are afraid of law-abiding firearms owners and intend to make them all criminals by passing laws. Then, they can legitimize total disarmament.

  6. My view is NOT that Vermont is filled up with anti-gun progressives – who favor gov’t power over all else – and who view the Constitutions – which used to rule supreme – as just old history and no longer important.
    It seems to me that ordinary Vermonters to NOT desire to tell other people what they must, and must not, do. So they go on struggling to earn a living and minding their own lives, jobs and families.

    But a large percentage of those who decide to run for office are just that. “I am smart and I know what is right, and Vt is not right yet, so I must run and straighten out these unenlightened Rubes.
    Maybe They DON’T HAVE TO WORK for some reason or other, so they put their name out, spend their time talking nice about doing good, and lacking a blue blood Vermonter running, the liberal do gooder slides into office, and aggressively starts creating bills – one new comer created a dozen bills before legislature opened !!! Keep throwing stuff at the wall to see if it works.

    And we loose our rights, and our money, % by % until we are find ourselves in financial and legal chains. And BOTH of our Constitutions in the recycle bins.

    Legislature pays pretty well for 4 days a week, and there must be people who’s work slows in the winter, or who retired with good mind and body. who can run for office and take a seat in legislature, take a seat away from a big spending rights grabbing “Progressive!”.

  7. Check out S.258 and S.259. One forces firearms dealers into being mandatory reporters.

    Excellent coverage. Keep it up TNR. Gun rights are under siege in Vermont, bigtime.

  8. Time for Vermonters to resist, in much the same way as Virginians. We must not let Chittenden County, Montpelier, Brattleboro, and Woodstock dictate to the rest of us.

  9. Bear in mind, there is a movement in this country, that started in VA for gun sanctuary counties. If in VT, this will neutralize any gun control legislation. Ms Sullivan (et al) can rant and rave all they want. Law enforcement won’t recognize the illegal anti-Constitutional “laws” as has been publicly demonstrated.

    Look up and you’ll see these events. The movement has gone to many other states. If the legislature won’t do it the people will and take back the State. Each day there’s more news about this and judges have backed them up. Common sense for common people.

    • My sentiments exactly. These bills are just the beginning of what Montpelier intends to be general and complete confiscation of all weapons. They don’t believe citizens will resist if they go piecemeal. But they’re wrong.

    • Tom, I’m all for what you say except Vermont has token county government. The state is a general fund autocracy. The counties receive funding from the state. Even the Sheriff’s and transport deputies are state employees. Our counties have no government of their own and no power. We vote on issues per town at town meeting day. The Sheriff’s office is a constitutional office elected by the county so unless every county sheriff agreed to not enforce the laws the state would impeach them or withhold their pay. All or most of the problems come from Chittendon County that has 6 senators and numerous house members. The whole state is at the mercy of 2 counties, Washington and Chittendon. Other states are experiencing the same thing. The population of two or three counties out votes the rural counties where conservatives reside. Couple that with the carpetbagger/flatlander/trustfunder and you have Vermonter’s problem of wealthy elites running for and winning powerful political positions. Until true Vermonters get off their asses and realize they have been lied to we can only hope or move out before all our rights are stolen by politicians who perjure their oath to defend the Vermont constitution and do it or the people of Vermont no harm.

      • Thank you, nice reply. I understand the gov(s) situation here, but have hope grassroot movements as a collective can overcome the two counties mentioned. It’s not only the gun issue, but a lot of other legislation.

        I analyze Montpelier is like the human body, the liberals are the skin trying to hold all within to their strength, but conservatives are the backbone that supports all. Skin can be punctured. Bone is more tougher.

        When I read about VA, gives me hope that concerned people also get fired up. There are many new articles hitting the internet about VA. It’s going to be a major uprising. Hope Vt’ers breath that air.

        • What I also find ironic is that Law Enforcement officers also take an oath. What they don’t always realize is that if they leave the employ of the state or municipal or county police dept.they will also have to comply with unconstitutional laws that they may have been ordered to enforce previously. Law enforcement officers should take a stand against such laws to protect their future ability to protect themselves and their families.

          These are important issues pertaining to constitutional rights, the supreme laws of the state and the country. Why does it take so long for the Supreme Court state or national to take up these important infringements on our freedoms? So many questions and no answers. People will only be pushed so far as we are seeing in Virginia and North Carolina as well as other states. Legislators believe they have the thick skin you mentioned but it is useless without a backbone that holds the body up.

  10. SICK, JUST SICK. No rational. How many such people in the legislature seek such legislation to control people. What expertise do they have, NONE. Who is behind them, are they receiving outside money to legislate?

    I’ve noticed an overwhelming “feel good bills” from these people. What do these bills seek to protect, NOBODY. I’ve absorbed many TNR articles about this subject and the sneakiness of the legislation.

    A while back there was Linda Waite Simpson from Miami (D-Essex Junction) that introduced 2-3 gun control bills for instance. Thankfully she got voted out. That was about 5 years ago and it hasn’t stopped yet.

    Some such people have to introduce legislation to feel important, “look at me, look at what I’m doing for you, and I know what’s best for you”. Please don’t try to force me to protect myself from myself. It ain’t gonna work and I’ll continue to do as I’ve done all my years. I was in the military and I protected you, I don’t want protection from you.

    Look at the bills she’s had her hands on (50):

    VT was never so bad off as to have all this just from one person. And over 500 new bills this year on top of the 660 last year. Don’t they have anything else to do?

    With VT so full of Socialists, what can you expect? People with a trail of “education” are educated out of common sense.

    • 500 to 700 bills shows that progressives just keep burying the legislators with stuff, hoping that 10% of it passes. 5% would be a win for anti-Constitution “legislators”

      These are not Constitutional Scholars, but they do choke the committees with a blizzard of stupid and rights grabbing nonsense.

      Find a good Vermonter, encourage them to run, run yourself, and support these Constitutional Candidates every way you can

  11. So the antiAmerican constitution haters are trying to get the jump on the fascist Baruths
    planned gun grabbing this session???
    Must be boomingburg has put some fast forward requirement on his gun grabbing payouts to communist…we should be making moves like VA with sanctuary cities and towns to protect the 2nd amendment from the communist/regressive onslaught against self protection…

  12. Standing around voting away your and my rights, I can’t figure out the the people who allow this nonsense to continue. Please use some sense and vote them out.

  13. The proposed bills would be unconstitutional , both state and federal,that doesn’t matter to the totalitarian left in Montpelier. It’s the agenda of civilian disarmament through any and all means necessary, the citizens of Vermont’s rights and safety be damned.

    Whether that is through denial of due process, confiscation or any other means matters not to these legislators,as they are willing to violate their oaths of office without thought or concequense,Shameful the they refer to themselves as representatives of the people.

  14. What is generally lost on Vermonters is that so very many of these stupid bills are introduced not just because the legislators like Ms Sullivan believe in the merits of them, but, more topically, to advance the career and/or stature of the proponents of those bills.
    It surely seems the case here.

  15. More unconstitutional nonsense, progressive democrats tried to slide these bills
    through, with out real forum or consensus……. stay vigilant Eddie and Bill……….

    They alotted just a few hours and to have their Anti-Gun people present their views
    only,” NO ” pro-gun …….. what a ” shameful ” display, from the committee chair and
    she should be held accountable ” removed ” from committee.

    This just shows Liberal Democrats, they are afraid of the truth, vote these fools out !!

Comments are closed.