Please call the Sgt-At-Arms and tell them “NO” to S.277. (The section 2307 “Firearms Surrendered Pursuant To Relief From Abuse;Storage;Fees; Return” is the part that is suspect.)This bill has been introduced by Senators Ashe, Campbell, and Sears. Phone number for Montpelier is 1-800-322-5616.
This section of the bill would make it mandatory for anyone with a temporary restraining order to turn their guns over to the police or an FFL dealer for storage. This bill essentially removes all choice of the matter (as is in place now) and creates a gun registry as all guns will be photographed and their identification criteria recorded.(Presently it is legal to give your guns to a trusted friend, neighbor or relative for storage. Under this bill, law enforcement would automatically seize your weapons and keep them.) S.277 also states (according to section 2307 subsection d1) that ” A law enforcement officer or a court approved federally licensed firearms dealer SHALL BE IMMUNE from civil or criminal liability for ANY damage or deterioration of firearms , ammunition, or weapons transferred pursuant to subsection b of this section.” Hence, if they ruin any guns that they are getting paid to store there will be no recourse for the owner.(If your valuable antique is destroyed you are out of luck.) And yes, there WILL be a fee to store the firearms. $4.00 per week and a “retrieval fee” of 25.00 per gun payable to the law enforcement officer or FFL dealer. This is outrageous!There should be no motivation for monetary gain throughout the entire process of a restraining order. It is also setting up the plaintiff to incur more expense that should have nothing to do with the penalty. If you don’t have the money to retrieve your weapons at said time then they will be auctioned off and the title shall pass to the law enforcement agency or the firearms dealer who is storing them! This encourages graph and questionable, dishonest behavior. The bottom line is that S.277 is about seizing guns with a monetary motivation under the guise of safety in a domestic dispute. Less than 1% of domestic disputes in Vermont entail firearms. We do not need this suspect bill to pass into law. Please call the Sargent at Arms at 1-800-322-5616 and leave a message for the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote NO on S.277.