GoVT Update 1/31/21
Hi all, hope everyone is staying warm out there during the cold snap. The action in the legislature is heating up with 2 new gun bills being introduced in the House this week while hearings on S.30 continue in the Senate.
Bills H.132 and H.133 were introduced in the House this week by Rep. Maxine Grad -D- Washington -7 and are co-sponsored by Reps Ann Pugh and Selena Colburn. These bills seem to be pieces of the highly contentious bill H.610 from last year which deal with the confiscation of firearms from persons subject to Relief From Abuse Orders (or RFAs). House Judiciary is set to start taking testimony on H.133 this Thursday Feb 4th at 09:00. GoVT and VTFSC are both on the agenda to give testimony. We will have a more comprehensive analysis of this bill in the coming days, but in the meantime both bills can be viewed on the legislature’s website here: https://legislature.vermont.gov/bill/status/2022/H.132 and here: https://legislature.vermont.gov/bill/status/2022/H.133 As always you can view all current gun bills in play as well as up to date info and analysis on our website here: https://gunownersofvermont.org/gun-bills/
Hearings continued in Senate Judiciary this week on bill S.30 which criminalizes the carrying of a firearm in certain public locations. The committee took testimony from VTFSC and GoVT on Wednesday. A written copy of GoVT’s testimony can be viewed here: S.30_Testimony_from_Gun_Owners_of_Vermont~1-27-2021.pdf or the full video of the hearing can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6N8A2gPvgXo&t=5035s The committee also took testimony from the Vermont Medical Society on Friday and the ensuing discussion amongst Senators is worth watching. If you are interested, it can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NERGUaXGKPY
It is worth noting that in its current form, S.30 appears to have one remaining supporter from the committee in Phil Baruth -D/P- Chittenden, who authored the bill. Even Senator White who originally co-sponsored the bill has expressed numerous concerns over the implications of such a law. If you have the time, it is worth going back to watch the You Tube videos of the committee hearings and listen to Senator Baruth’s reasoning behind this bill and to his concerns which he purports to address with it.
Lastly, we have a lot of new members, so I wanted to take a moment and remind everyone that GoVT is a non-partisan organization dedicated to the sole purpose of preserving the right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by Article 16 and the Second Amendment. We focus almost exclusively on state level politics as that is where we have the greatest ability to influence legislation. Vermont is a unique political animal in that the traditional stereotypes of Republican and Democrats don’t fit the politicians here – especially when it comes to guns. Consider that bill S.30, currently in Senate Judiciary (which was originally considered a narrowly tailored, slam-dunk bill by its authors) presently appears to have one supporter in a committee of four Democrats and one Republican.
GoVT welcomes everyone who values the right to keep and bear arms regardless of political affiliations and we encourage everyone to invite their friends and family to join the cause. Just please be sure to observe our group rules for discourse while on the public forums and to get involved wherever you can, even if it’s just registering to vote and emailing your reps once in a while. We are truly a grassroots organization and we encourage our members to take part in the legislative process. We enjoy much more access to our local politics in Vermont due to the small size of our state and it should not be understated how much influence you can have on what goes on in Montpelier.
Thanks once again and be sure to check back every Sunday during the session for our weekly GoVT updates which are published to our website, Facebook, and MeWe pages. You can also help by becoming an official member of Gun Owners of Vermont here: https://gunownersofvermont.org/about-us/join-us/
Gun Owners of Vermont