Weekly GoVT updates for the week of February 22 – 28, 2020

To date, 14 Vermont towns have adopted some form of Article 16 / 2nd Amendment sanctuary status with 2 others issuing an official statement of support in their own wording and we are currently tracking 21 towns with plans to bring it up this week at town meeting. If you are interested, in doing this at your town meeting, it can be brought up at the end under “other business” and voted on from the floor. The resolution is available in PDF on the right-hand side of the page under group files. Please feel free to reach out with any questions and we will do our best to answer.
H.610 remains in House Judiciary committee and did not receive any hearings this week though it has been modified yet again and is now on version 8.2 (link attached.) H.610, the bill that needlessly meddles in the NICS background check system and mandates gun confiscation without due process based on false allegations and has been billed by its proponents as a “mild reform” was at first considered a safe bet by gun control activists and expected to sail through committee without much resistance. After encountering heavy scrutiny from gun rights groups, law-enforcement and the judiciary, H.610 continues to linger in committee despite the best efforts of Maxine Grad, Martin Lalonde and the paid gun control lobbyists to ram it through.
The legislature will be on break this week as is customary during town meeting week in Vermont. When you are voting on town meeting day Tuesday, be sure to look for your legislators at the polls and at town meeting. Politely engage them on the issues that are important to you and ask why so much time has been spent this session trying to pass more gun control with all the other important issues facing Vermonters. Ask them why the continued push year after year for more gun laws in the safest state in the nation.
Friday, March 13th is what is known as crossover day. This is the annual deadline for which bills that have not passed out of their chamber of origin may not be taken up by the other side this year. As this is the second year of the biennium, that means that any bill which does not pass in 2020 will not carry over and must be reintroduced next session. What this means is that next week when the legislature comes back, there will be a mad dash to pass bills out of committees so they have a chance and this is generally when we see some of the worst legislation as corners get cut and details ignored in an attempt to get legislator’s pet projects out by the deadline. We can fully expect H.610 to get the same treatment.
Bills which do not make the deadline are supposed to be dead but as we all know, shenanigans run rampant in that building and anything is possible. Other bills still in play are S.258, a bill by Senator Phil Baruth which would impose a 48 hour waiting period on all firearm sales, effectively outlawing gun shows in the state and S.259 which would ban what Baruth determines to be “semi-automatic assault weapons” in public places and has 13 co-sponsors in the Senate.
We’re not out of the woods just yet but they haven’t crammed it down our throats as easily as they had hoped at the beginning of the year either. Everyone who has put time into this thing from the sanctuary towns to the hearings to calling and emailing your reps are the reason that it’s still difficult to pass gun control in this state. We appreciate each and every one of you.
I think that’s it for this week, as always let me know if I missed anything or if you have any questions. Thanks.