Editor’s note: The following is an email alert sent out by the Vermont Traditions Coalition.
Vermont Traditions Coalition applauds Governor Phil Scott on his Veto of S. 30, an act relating to prohibiting possession of firearms within hospital buildings. The bill has many sections unrelated to that title and we addressed these most recently in the House Judiciary Committee when the bill was loaded down with additional sections as a “Christmas tree” for gun control advocates.
VTC’s Bill Moore joined many other advocates and critiqued the implications for restricting gun purchases and infringements upon lawful gun owners exercising Constitutional carry. Most disturbing, the bill contained very intrusive elements on folks seeking mental health and addiction recovery services in the stressful aftermath of Covid lockdowns and financial losses.
Moore testified extensively on that and also led a fight to have the bill referred to the House Health Care Committee for scrutiny of these provisions. Representatives Anne Donahue, Pat Brennan, Brian Smith and others assisted VTC in that action.
While we are encouraged and thank the Governor for his Veto of S. 30 on specific grounds and objections, we continue to object to any supposed “loophole” in the NICS background check system. Governor Scott’s Veto Statement was quite detailed in his decision, and the letter can be viewed here.
We especially wish to extend gratitude for Governor Scott’s mention of Vermont’s looming mental health crisis and the need for serious attention by legislative leadership. We would add the need for crisis care beds is only the tip of the iceberg as Vermont faces the same doubling and even tripling of self-harm and self-medication addiction rates as the rest of the nation. Averting suicides and drug related crimes are the best form of “gun control.”
Our youth are especially at risk and ARPA funds should be directed immediately under the direction of professionals in the field. Legislative leadership has shown little interest in seriously addressing these deeper questions, so we hope the Governor follows up his Veto statement with many more specific proposals very soon.
While Vermonters have learned to live with the NICS Background Check system, it is an unconstitutional “Prior Restraint” on the exercise of an Individual Constitutional Right. Even the 3-day delays now in Federal Statute harken back to a time when many of the NICS checks were still completed by fax machine and telephone calls to local sheriffs, and the fact that BATFE has the capability to track and confiscate firearms somehow incorrectly transferred begs the question that most gun owners know the answer to; the NICS system is a back door system of gun owner registration and we know these laws can lead to confiscation regimes by future administrations.
On that basis we continue to oppose any state level expansion of the NICS delay period, and we continue to request the repeal of the large capacity magazine ban as ineffective “feel good” legislation passed by the legislative supermajority to appease demands to “just do something” without facing the roots of crime like addiction and drug trafficking in the state.
Vermont Traditions Coalition wants to add thanks to all our friends and supporters who spoke, wrote to legislators and contacted the Governor about these badly drafted Bills. As always, without that support we would be subject to the whims of the extreme measures proposed by those who would extinguish our freedoms and the Vermont Traditions way of life! Clearly without all of our support, the Governor would not have the knowledge and support he needs to take a stand against S.30. Thank you all. As the Quebec license plate says, “Je’ me souviens.” We do remember!
Firearms Policy Analyst