GoVT Update 01/24/21
As everyone knows by now, the Legislature is back in session which means the GoVT weekly updates are back! During the busy season we try to keep everyone updated on the latest happenings around the state as they relate to gun rights, so I try to get out a weekly newsletter of sorts which we post to our Facebook group and on our web page. We will also be posting all our publications on MeWe from now on as well.
We can be found there at https://mewe.com/join/gun_owners_of_vermont
Since the Legislature is back, that means the focus right now is on proposed legislation with most of it coming from the Senate so far, and one bill coming from the House. All current legislation pertaining to gun rights can be viewed on our website here: Vermont Legislature: Proposed Bills 2021-2022 (HOUSE & SENATE)
Bills involving firearms are generally referred to the Judiciary Committees of their respective chambers for consideration. So far, the only one to have been taken up by committee is S.30 introduced by Senator Phil Baruth – D/P from Chittenden County. S.30 seeks a ban on the carrying of firearms in certain public places and to impose a criminal penalty for doing so. The Senate Judiciary Committee took testimony on the bill this past Wednesday 1/20/21 via Zoom and the video is available to watch here: Senate Judiciary 01-20-2021-01 The usual folks from the state testify toward the beginning -everyone knows T.J. Donovan never met a gun bill he didn’t like so you might want to skip that part – but some good arguments were raised by both Chris Bradley from VTFSC and Matt Valerio, the Vermont Defender General. Gun bills are never as innocuous as the Senator from Chitco likes to portray them, and these guys did a great job pointing out concerns with this bill. It’s definitely worth the watch if you have not done so already. The committee will be taking more testimony on the bill this Wednesday and GoVT is on the agenda along with more from VTFSC. Committee Chair, Senator Dick Sears – D Bennington has indicated that he would like to hear a wide range of testimony on this bill. S.30 currently has 16 sponsors, a majority in the Senate, however, Senator Sears is NOT one of them. All committee hearings can be viewed on their You Tube channel and all information regarding bills, committees, agendas, and legislators can be found on the State website at https://legislature.vermont.gov/
As mentioned above, GoVT has been attempting to diversify the ways in which we publish our message due in large part to the hostility gun groups have experienced from big tech recently. We currently publish content to our website and Facebook pages on a regular basis and have started using MeWe as sort of a backup. The reality of the situation is that everyone hangs out on Facebook and Twitter and big tech knows it. We will continue to seek out other options, but until some of the other platforms start to catch on, we need to preserve the communication tools that we have created on Facebook, and that means playing by their rules. Our purpose is to fight gun control legislation in VT and that is a large reason why we screen posts and run less member-submitted content during the legislative session – the happenings in Montpelier take center stage and Facebook is a tool which helps us keep you guys up to speed.
In closing, I want to welcome all of our new members who have joined over the last year, and welcome back everyone who has been here and stuck with us over the last few rocky years of fighting gun control in the green mountains. Vermont is an odd political animal, and gun rights are an issue that have often blurred the party lines in our statehouse. We want to remind everyone that GoVT is a non-partisan organization which is not only committed to preserving Article 16 and Second Amendment rights but seeks to unite all persons who value the right to keep and bear arms and the protections enshrined in our Constitutions.
We encourage our members to be active participants in the legislative process and to contact their reps regularly. It is important not to underestimate the effect one can have on local politics in a small state like Vermont. You can also help out by becoming an official member of GoVT here: GoVT Membership Thank you all for your support and stay tuned!
Gun Owners of Vermont