Vermont Legislature to resume discussion on gun restrictions
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said Tuesday that the debate in the Legislature about restrictions on gun ownership would resume now that lawmakers have returned from their weeklong, mid-session break.
With lawmakers back in Montpelier, the Republican governor, said he supported bills under consideration in both the House and the Senate.
“They are continuing,” Scott said of the discussion among lawmakers. “It may not have been as quick as I had hoped, but at this point in time we are still having the conversations.”
Before the break began March 2, both the House and Senate had passed different pieces of legislation, but they failed to give final approval to anything, as Scott had asked.
The push for what in other states might be considered minor pieces of gun control legislation came after Vermont police broke up a plan by a Poultney teenager to shoot up the Fair Haven Union High School. The teenager was arrested the day after the shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school that killed 17.
A number of gun-rights activists who feel some of the proposals being considered go too far descended on the Statehouse Tuesday, many wearing blaze orange hunting clothing, to let lawmakers know their opinions. Students who support more restrictions on gun ownership were planning a candlelight vigil for outside the Statehouse late Tuesday afternoon.
Among the proposals being considered by the Legislature is a bill that would require background checks for private gun sales and increase the age to buy firearms to 21. The Senate has approved these measures.
Both the House and Senate passed separate bills that would allow police to seize weapons from people who are deemed dangerous. The Senate version requires a judge to sign off on the seizure while the House version does not.
The next step will be for lawmakers from both chambers to continue to work on the legislation.