Courts & Corrections

Universal background check debate returns to Statehouse

Ann Braden
Ann Braden of Gun Sense Vermont speaks Tuesday at the Statehouse. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDigger
Dozens of supporters of legislation that would require background checks on sales of all firearms in Vermont gathered in the Statehouse on Tuesday.

A measure has already been introduced in the Senate, and another bill is expected in the House. But despite strong support from outside the Statehouse, the legislation faces significant resistance among lawmakers and from the governor’s office.

Under the proposal, S.6, a background check would be required whenever firearms are transferred between individuals, unless it is between immediate family members or to a law enforcement agency or an active member of the armed forces.

Advocates say the bill would close a loophole: Currently, background checks are required only when guns are sold by licensed dealers. They’re not legally required for sales between individuals.

“Right now gun sales are treated differently depending on where the gun is purchased,” said Ann Braden, of the group Gun Sense Vermont. “This loophole makes it too easy for a criminal to buy a gun.”

She said people who would not pass a background check have been able to buy a gun, citing examples from around the state, including an affidavit that recorded an incarcerated man with a background of abuse contacting his son and asking him to purchase a gun in a private sale.

She said the change in policy at the state level would complement federal requirements.

“The federal government prohibits violent offenders from possessing guns, but to enforce that universal background checks are needed,” Braden said. “Fingers crossed is not a common-sense state policy.”

Rep. Michael Mrowicki, D-Putney, who is co-sponsoring the forthcoming House bill, told the crowd that the measure will not eliminate gun violence but may reduce it.

“I can’t guarantee any law will work 100 percent of the time, but I can share that if this bill saves even one life it’s worth it,” Mrowicki said.

Representatives from groups including Amnesty International and the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence voiced support for the bill. A representative from the Vermont chapter of the National Association of Social Workers said the issue is “personal for us” after the shooting death of social worker Lara Sobel in Barre in 2015.

Opinion polls suggest support for universal background checks is strong in Vermont. A poll by Vermont Public Radio and Castleton Polling Institute in October found that 84 percent of respondents supported requiring checks for all sales.

Evan Hughes, of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, said the initiative would make it very difficult for Vermonters looking to sell a gun privately. They would need to find a dealer willing to complete the background check and would need to pay a fee.

He also questioned whether it would be effective in stopping guns from getting into the wrong hands.

“Criminals are going to get firearms, they’re going to get whatever tools, contraband they need to do their crimes,” Hughes said. “Criminals don’t obey laws. That’s why they’re criminals.”

Phil Scott
Gov. Phil Scott. File photo by Anne Galloway/VTDigger
The legislation faces many obstacles, including from the Fifth Floor.

Gov. Phil Scott said Tuesday he had not yet looked at the introduced legislation, but that he continues to hold the view he did during the campaign: “I’m not advocating for any changes to our gun laws,” he said.

“We’re one of the safest states in the nation,” he said. “We may be unique, but we don’t mind being unique.”

Instead, he said, efforts should be directed toward issues at the “root of the problem,” such as mental health and poverty.

Scott did not answer the question of whether he would veto a background check bill. He will let the process “work its way through,” he said. “But my position has not changed.”

The Senate bill was referred Tuesday to the Judiciary Committee, which spent weeks debating the issue for a bill on firearms in 2015.

“Usually we don’t bring things back up again right away,” committee Chair Dick Sears, D-Bennington, said.

He noted that the panel voted down the proposal two years ago.

“It’s the same committee, and I don’t believe our views have changed,” Sears said. “I don’t intend to move any further at this point.”

If the House passes a bill, he said, the Senate committee would consider the issue.

In his view, the proposal would create a hassle and an expense for most people. It would require people looking to buy and sell a gun privately to go to a licensed dealer for a background check, for which they would likely be charged a fee.

“That will just lead to people who are otherwise not criminals being charged as criminals for giving a gun to a neighbor or whatever,” Sears said.

Rep. Maxine Grad, D-Moretown, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, said she wasn’t aware of a bill in the House at this time and did not yet know if the panel would take it up.

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  • Roy Jackson

    First, Gunsense is not the “grass roots” organization it claims to be. This is funded, primarily, by out of state interests. I believe Anne Braden is paid by these out of state interests, but that needs to be confirmed.
    That said, my main concern with this bill is, if you lend a firearm (while hunting or target shooting) to a friend or neighbor, you’re violating the laws. Obviously, this makes no sense and is an infringement on our rights.
    Also, for over 200 years, Vermont has trusted it’s citizenry with firearms. How arrogant of these people (the sponsors of this bill) to consider Vermonters untrustworthy.
    This will have no effect on crime, and the sponsor of this bill no that. This is nothing more than harassment of law-abiding citizens….a rather abhorrent abuse of government
    No matter what your stance is on firearms or the 2nd Amendment…this is one of your rights, even if you don’t exercise it

    • Right you are.. we as Vermonters need to dig our heels in deep and put a stop to the constant harassment from the lefties.I for one am not interested in their ideology of a utopian life style,there is no such thing,stop forcing your crap on us.

      • Walter Carpenter

        “I for one am not interested in their ideology of a utopian life style,there is no such thing,stop forcing your crap on us.”

        Gun safety in a nation with some 30,000 gun deaths a year is a utopian lifestyle? Should there be 60,000, 90,000 gun deaths a year in order for it to not be “utopian.”

    • krister adams

      “…my main concern with this bill is, if you lend a firearm (while hunting or target shooting) to a friend or neighbor, you’re violating the laws. Obviously, this makes no sense and is an infringement on our rights.”… How/Why?
      “This is nothing more than harassment of law-abiding citizens”…This is your opinion.
      “This will have no effect on crime, and the sponsor of this bill no that.”…Do you have proof of this?
      What are you afraid of?

      • Homer Sulham

        What are you afraid of?…To much control over the people by special interest people.

      • Glenn Thompson

        Perhaps you need to understand what is taking place in Chicago and ask the question why a city with strict gun controls can continue to rack up a high gun violence statistics?

        FYI, this country has thousands of gun laws on the books, many of them unenforceable. The main purpose of anti-gun groups like Gunsense is to go after the law-abiding citizens and ignore the criminal element. A large portion of the small amount of gun violence in Vt. is due to the criminal element including the illegal drug trade. How about focusing on those issues instead of going after law abiding citizens? Roy Jackson’s comments are ‘spot on’.

        • Lori Cohen

          Gunsense is not an “anti-gun” group but a gun SAFETY group. The goal isn’t to take away anyone’s 2nd amendment rights, but to recognize that guns can and do inflict harm if operated by individuals that, for a variety of reasons, shouldn’t have one. Be it a violent past, or recurring mental illness, some people just shouldn’t have the legal authority to obtain a potentially deadly weapon.

          • Robert Ries

            Please post a schedule of the safety classes they teach.

          • Glenn Thompson

            That’s not the way I see it. Are you going to go on record and make the claim that certain members within the Gunsense group do NOT favor abolishing the 2nd amendment and ultimately confiscating all guns in the USA? Anyone who follows this issue closely is not going to believe for a second, Gunsense is strictly a gun safety group.

            Like every other special interest group out there, they push their ultimate agenda “one step at a time”. No one for a minute is going to believe, if Gunsense gets this bill passed they won’t be back in short order to push for the next step to achieve their ultimate goal.

          • Jon Corrigan

            ‘…some people just shouldn’t have the legal authority to obtain a potentially deadly weapon.’

            Does that mean background checks for selling a motor vehicle, since more people die in Vermont from drunk/drugged driving accidents? Surely wouldn’t want some unsuspecting person to sell a truck to anybody with 3 or more DUI convictions, would we?

          • Richard Ley

            As many times as it has been voiced gun sense Vermont Being Ian out of state-funded organisation just does not understand vermonters and those that come here and want to live as vermonters

            We have proven for well over two hundred years that we are the safest state in the nation but it is never good enough

            It is proven throughout the United States that gun laws do not prevent crime because criminals do not abide by the laws

            This will just place a monetary burden on the hard-working people of Vermont that can barely survive now

            I am calling on Philip Baruth how to stop punishing the hard-working people of Vermont by introducing these ridiculous bills and start to work on things that matter here

            We have a terrible drug problem that is recognized Nationwide we are in debt that hopefully newly elected governor Scott will begin to dig us out of and we have no jobs

          • It most definitely is an anti-gun group- from out of state. The NRA does more to promote gun safety in one week than gunsenseCT has even done.
            There are a variety of people already prohibited from firearm ownership by law.
            Please explain how this proposed law will prevent gun violence. From our point of view it is one step closer to gun registration.

          • sandra bettis

            The NRA is a front for the weapons manufacturers – anyone who does not know this has not been paying attention.

          • I guess my fellow NRA members (5 million) haven’t received that memo. I’ll be sure to tell the other 5 million members that we are actually a front for gun manufacturers.
            It seems like you are the one that hasn’t been paying attention- that or too much kool-aid.

          • I think we all recognize that guns can and do inflict harm if operated by individuals that, for a variety of reasons, shouldn’t have one.

            Felons are already not allowed to have firearms, so that’s covered. Mental illness would require a psychiatrist to put somebody on a list. Your efforts are better served working on that.

          • Richard Guyette

            Not anti-gun but pro safety? Who are they to put themselves in a position where they can dictate their preferences to Vermonters? If they want to change a policy, let them change the current mental health system which I see as the root of the gun issue anyway.

        • Walter Carpenter

          “to rack up a high gun violence statistics?”

          Because they can get guns everywhere else where there are lax gun laws.

      • Mark Wells

        Can you imagine how much good these people could do with that much effort and money if they worked on a real problem like opiate addiction, Vermont children’s welfare and education, poverty, affordability, Vermont’s struggling seniors and families instead of a non-existent problem. What I’m afraid of is these people with an “agenda over all” lack of common sense hurting the good folks of Vermont instead of making themselves feel unrealistically warm and fuzzy at the expense of honest hard working Vermonters.
        It’s ideology like this that got Trump elected. They can’t see the forest for the trees.

    • Darcy Canu

      Any effort to cut down on gun violence is s sound idea, in my opinion.
      This one isn’t going to eliminate armed violence, but it’s a beginning.
      There will always be ways to acquire guns illegally, but for people who understand and want to be in possession of a firearm legally (NON-criminal behavior) this will be an inconvenience at worst, IF it passes at all. My guess is, it won’t.

      • Jason micheal

        You’re basically admitting it won’t work while stating any effort to stop gun violence is a sound idea…. something’s not adding up.
        You’re right about it being an inconvenience at best, for law abiding citizens.

      • Robert Ries

        Since it won’t stop criminals, or even slow them down, what is the actual point?

        • GunsenseVT stated goals may not be the goals they actually want to achieve.
          Firearms and Ammunition prohibition might just be the real goal here…
          I’m not sure how many firearms dealers will do these transfers for any fee. They may just decide not to deal with it- then what? Law Enforcement will have to do them? The Police certainly have more important duties. Nevada just went down this rabbit hole, to pass an unenforceable law.

      • Jim Hazell

        If someone really wants to cut down the gun violence numbers, all one needs to do is stop adding in the suicides. BOOM! Numbers drop exponentially and there’s no need to inconvenience our Constitutionally protected rights.

    • Neil Johnson

      We had 400+ lobbyists last year, now we have 526? This is NOT what is on the minds of most Vermont citizens. Our reps need to get a back bone and throw out every lobbyist and listen to the people. We are being played with by the DNC agenda, just like they totally screwed Bernie…..

  • Steve Allen

    Anyone promoting these two proposed bills is beating a dead horse.

    In our local newspaper a writer who stated he was part of the group that started gun sense VT admitted they took direction from out of state. By claiming to be a grass roots organization Gun Sense Vermont is engaging in “astro turfing” which is the practice of claiming to be a grass roots organization while actually being funded and directed by a larger organization.

    • Jason micheal

      Can you link a copy of that?

      • Steve Allen

        Jason, I am sorry but I have searched the archives of the on line version of the paper’s website (the Valley Reporter, Waitsfield, VT) and they do not appear to have the article available. This was published at the end of the first half of the just completed biennium, April of 2015.

      • In a Judiciary Committee meeting Thursday, Tyler Wilkinson-Ray, lobbyist for Gun Sense Vermont, had a heated exchange with a state senator over the language of S.141. The bill aims to prohibit violent felons from possessing firearms and would require people with adjudicated mental illness to be reported to the FBI the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

        The exchange, which took place between Wilkinson-Ray and state Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, pertained to new language about reinstating the mentally ill when they are no longer deemed to be in need of treatment.

        Wilkinson-Ray, requesting additional time for his client to evaluate the language, said, “We need to get national expertise on this before we can approve it. …We need to get national expertise on this significant change.”

    • Make no bones about it, Michael Bloomberg BRAGGED about aiding Gun Sense Vermont in February 2015 in synchronization with the UBC push then!

      Said so on the Bloomberg View News website!

  • Lenny Bates

    Get out of VT and go to Chicago where your gun laws keep you safe. My whole family VOTES against gun control freaks. Stop wasting our TAX dollars.

  • Eddie Garcia

    In my view, this effort has now risen to the level of petulant bullying. Professor Baruth and Ms. Braden are simply harassing Vermont gun owners, nothing more and nothing less, we resent it, and this bill will be defeated.

    • scott jennings

      Another so called solution to a non-existent problem from the far left dems in VT. Make no mistake, it’s a long term Bloomberg funded strategy to erode the 2nd Amend step by step; they just won’t say it out loud.  Next will be “may issue” permits where local LE can arbitrarily deny you legal carry even AFTER you pass a NICS background check.  Next is forced registration, background checks for ammo, bans on lead ammo, and exorbitant taxes on ammo and firearms. If you doubt it, look at CA, NY, NJ, MA, etc. What it will do is entrap law abiding VT’ers who will face felonies for innocuous things such as lending a well known friend, neighbor, nephew or brother-in-law even a single shot .22 target rifle while doing nothing to stop criminals.  “but I can share that if this bill saves even one life it’s worth it, Mrowicki said.”  Banning knives, hammers, ladders, bathtubs, cars, motorcycles, horses, tractors, chainsaws, etc  will save at least one life. Is that where we are going?

    • sandra bettis

      The problem is that the bullying (and beyond) comes from the gun owners – that has always been the problem.

  • Kristin Sohlstrom

    If Amnesty International sticking it’s nose into local Vermont politics isn’t enough of a wake up call that this GunSense agenda against Vermonters isn’t grassroots, I don’t know what it will take to convince the GunSense members they are being lied to about that. Your group isn’t what your leaders are telling you it is.

    We aren’t swayed or impressed or star struck by big names here. Only the weak are. GunSense, it’s money, it’s friends, and it’s lobbying are not welcome in Vermont.

  • For the legislature to spend taxpayer funds on this kind of legislation in this biennium shows the disregard and disconnect of those under the Golden Dome. This is no more than a “feel good” bill, not unlike the Gilfeather Turnip legislation.The stated goal of this proposed legislation has already been accomplished. If an individual is not qualified to posses a firearm in VT, then that person is performing a criminal act by attempting to purchase a firearm, privately or from a dealer. Since criminals tend not to be deterred from breaking the law, what is to be gained by this ill-conceived legislation? Rather than allowing taxpayer funds to be squandered chasing bad legislation, perhaps Mr Ashe and Ms. Johnson should focus their charges toward fixing what is broke, not creating new problems.

  • Barbara Marion

    The case that many of these folks are citing to say this law is necessary is not relevant. They keep talking about the school shooting in Conn. In that case, a mother bought the gun for her son, so this proposed law would not have prevented that at all. Most of the cases they mention concerns a gun being procured by illegal means, such as theft, so again these laws do not have any meaning except to complicate matters for transferring gun ownership by law abiding Vermonters.

    • Clyde Cook

      Even worse, Mom did not SECURE her guns and she paid for it when her own son shot her. All the gun laws in the world are less than useless in a situation like that

  • Gary Murdock

    “But despite strong support from outside the Statehouse,”

    Please provide the basis for this comment, lest we chalk it up to wishful thinking from a reporter with preconceived notions. AKA – Fake News.

  • kevin lawrence

    Criminals do not care what laws Vermonters keep on the books. This approach only infringes on law-abiding people. I teach college students and high school students to shoot and hunt using my firearms at my farm. They would all be in violation under this bill. This is not necessary nor is it effective legislation. Vermont must not attempt to look like California.

  • Trevor Halperin

    How many more times do they need to get defeated? Obviously the support is not as strong as they claim, if people keep getting voted out of office for supporting such asinine legislation. Not sure where these “statistics” came from, but if it were the case Minter and others like her would have easily won the last election. To me, that speaks pretty loudly that some of the people in the statehouse need to listen to their constituents more often than outside interests and money. Stop finding solutions to a fabricated problem. We are one of the safest states in the nation for a reason.

  • Frederick Woekner

    These Bloomberg funded anti-firearm groups never learn. The recent election showed Vermonters do not want gun control schemes. Minter’s hyping gun control and industrial wind were big factors in her defeat by a Republican who opposed both in an overwhelming Democratic state.

  • Will Waizenegger


    Once again, these politicians are given another chance to get some necessary work done in this state and this is what they choose to do with public time and money? They wasted no time at all, making this the FIRST THING on their plate! These people: Sen. Philip Baruth, Sen. Michael Sirotkin, Sen. Debbie Ingram, Sen. Virginia Lyons, Sen. Dick McCormack and Sen. Christopher Pearson are telling you this is somehow more important than any other problem this state has! This alone proves what their mindset is like. They only represent and push their personal…and donors’…views. Not yours.

    If this gets into the process, can you imagine what other ACTUAL important matters WON’T get the chance to be heard? This state has the chance to get necessary work done and these puppets are going to pull this stunt…again! This has already been gone over and rejected before.

    Finally, can the media please stop pushing the discredited 89% poll already? It’s insulting.

    • Will Waizenegger

      BTW: from the cover picture up in that article, it would seem that David Zuckerman’s priorities are pretty skewed, as well. Of all people in that group, someone occupying that post should be concentrating on more important matters, especially this early in the season. It was a mistake to vote him into that position; he doesn’t belong there. Just seeing him in that picture goes to show this session may just turn out to be another waste of time. This state is in deep trouble.

  • Jason micheal

    Safest state in the entire country as ranked by the FBI. The sponsors of this bill are wasting our time and money.

  • edward letourneau

    What exact problem do these people think they are going to solve? As proposed, this law would be similar to stopping drunk drivers, by making it harder for sober people to buy a car.

  • Grant Sulham

    Washington State passed a universal background check (I-594) back in 2014.recently, police attempted to make th first arrest under the law.
    The I-594 is 18 pages of legalese. It was promoted by out of state funding that produced a number of slick, misleading commercials.
    The measure is a nenforcable. First, because criminal don’t obey the law. They buy guns on the street, steal them, or have someone buy them. Chicago is a good example of this.
    What did I-594 do? You and a friend go out to shoot some tin cans. When you let your friend shoot your gun, you have broken the law. That’s an illegal transfer. Proponents of I-594 were quick o dismiss this claiming that I-594 allowed this. That’s false. The law does allow letting a friend shoot your gun. However: (1) If this was done at a licensed gun range. (2) If the gun was stored at the range. A gravel pit or your own backyard doesn’t count. Go to a licensed shooting range and let your friend shoot your gun? Illegal.

  • jim Haddad

    the law if passed would be unenforceable. there are so many sportsmen with so many guns i personally would avoid the ubc and deal with folks i know. perhaps we need a bill to stop the constant harrassment attempts by gunsense and baruth. at the very least, a journalist code should stop the spewing of misrepresenting the output of polls.

  • Jon Lavallee

    i wish our very left elected body down there in montpelier could focus on more important issues at hand. we need reducted spending, reduced taxes and good budgeting. additionally, i don’t believe for one second that 84% of all people support having to go through a background check to give a firearm to a friend or neighbor.

    • 84% of their friends support it, Jon.

      • Jon Corrigan

        100% of my friends won’t comply with it Gary.

  • James Smith

    No means no! Stop wasting the time of Vt’s legislature on bills that have failed in the very recent past. Especially on bills that are so low on the effectiveness toetem pole as UBG.

  • There were over 100 members of at the press release, not just “dozens”
    The room was overflowing, with people standing at the exits. There were several members of the house and the senate who approve of this bill and want it passed including Lt Gov Zuckerman, Senator Philip Baruth, Rep Mary Sullivan, Rep Seleen Colburn, Sen. Johanna Leddy Donovan, Sen Ginny Lyons. Compared to even two years ago, the support is HUGE for the passage of this bill. Sen Sears said NO last time, and then changed his mind and helped to get the bill out of his committee and passed into law. There are 50 new people in the the senate and house. A lot can happen. Also the loopohole that needs to be blocked includes online purchase of guns. Getting someone to help with doing a background check, and paying a small fee ($25-$40) is incidental, and trivial against saving a life. And not sufficient reason to not pass this bill.

    • When enough transplants move to the state to displace the votes of those Vermonters who remain, this will pass. Until then, the number of paid lobbyists present in the room should not be a barometer of the popularity of any law.

      When you have recreated VT into Chicago or NYC, where will be the next place you move to and ruin?

    • Beware the unintended consequences of any new law like this. You may find your own rights diminished. Also beware of the rhetoric from Gunsense. Current Federal AND State law prohibits firearm ownership and possession if convicted felon, adjudicated Mental illness, convicted of domestic violence, drug user- INCLUDING MARIJUANA, and a list of other reasons. Your gunsense group will accomplish nothing to further your stated goals, but will further your real agenda of gun prohibition.

  • James Rude

    Let me see if I have this correct; Vermont has one of the lowest per capita rates of gun crimes in the country and has above average gun ownership rates while having one of the countries most liberal gun ownership practices. Yet, a group of people has decided that Vermont needs tighter gun control because…….they just want it in order to help promote an agenda sponsored by out of state interests? Makes no sense to me.

  • sandra bettis

    Why is it so hard to get this common sense law passed? Do the opponents really think that people who cannot pass a background check should own a gun???

    • Will Waizenegger

      Because it makes no sense.

    • Jim Hazell

      No, it’s that criminals will still get guns, no matter what. There are already too many unenforceable laws as it is. Do you really think that a stupid law will stop a criminal? Do you really think that somebody willing to kill somebody will suddenly say: “Gee, there’s a UBC law, I guess I can’t kill people” ??? Please, understand that this is certainly not a “common sense” law.

    • You have not read a single comment here if that’s your take away.
      We will never compromise with our gun rights.

      • sandra bettis

        What about the rights of the rest of us?

        • Trevor Halperin

          Nowhere does it state you have a right to tell people how to live, what to do with their lives, and how to do it. If you aren’t comfortable around a firearm, simple, don’t buy one. Don’t tell me I can’t have one. It would be no different than me telling you that you aren’t allowed to say what you just did, because it COULD be taken the wrong way and cause harm. Both are constitutionally protected RIGHTS. I’ll give up my guns when everyone who wants me to, gives up their voicebox and all their fingers so they have no way to communicate.

    • Blaire Scaglione

      Background checks already exist! This is a registration scheme and registration leads to confiscation! No new gun laws in Vermont! The safest state in the Nation!

      • sandra bettis

        Background checks exist only when you buy a gun from a registered dealer – they do not exist for private sales, gun shows and internet sales. Gun people are very paranoid according to all of these posts.

        • Trevor Halperin

          Actually, to pick up a gun from an online sale, it must be shipped to a licensed dealer, where they perform a background check (for a fee) before you are allowed to take possesion. A gun show works the same way, there is no “gun show loophole”. If you buy a firearm from a licensed dealer you HAVE to do a background check, no matter if it’s at their store, or off a table in a convention center. You seem to be the paranoid one, as we actually understand the current laws in place…

          • sandra bettis

            As you said – ‘from a licensed dealer’ – this is not always the case as I’m sure you know.

          • Trevor Halperin

            Which part? The online sale or the gun show, because in either instance, yes, it is always the case. As far as private sales go, either someone is a crimnal already and will get a possibly stolen gun, or straw purchased gun anyway. Or it is a private sale between friends, or someone you know. Why should someone have to pay to have a background check done to loan/sell a gun to a family member or good friend? NOTHING in any proposed legislation would stop a criminal, who already has no problems breaking a law, from getting a weapon. And how will you ever enforce this law? You would have to know where every gun is, and who owns it so it can be tracked. No means no. I should assume you can understand that sentiment. People keep saying no to more restrictive and over reaching laws, yet people such as yourself keep pushing for them, when they will do NOTHING but create more criminals. Many of us are sick and tired of losing rights and jumping through hoops already. Enough is enough. No more.

          • michael olcott

            well i decided to check this out myself and sent an email to…well one of the largest online firearms sellers this morning. the reply? yep its gotta be sent to a dealer for the background check..if you know of any that dont then im pretty sure they would in violation of federal regs/laws.

        • You seem to be misinformed. Perhaps you might research the firearm regulations for VT, rather than rely on gunsense to misinform you.

    • Jamie Carter

      THis isn’t common sense legislation… do proponents really think that A.) a criminal will attempt to purchase a firearm that requires a background check and b.) once denied they will just give up???

      Also, what happens to those background checks that don’t come back? The FBI isn’t staffed adequately and many times the check just times out. Is Vermont going to pay the FBI so they can hire more people?

      There is no common sense in this legislation. While the idealistic intent maybe honorable, in the real world the plan is just pure idiocy.

  • Jay Laurie

    Vermont does not need this back ground check. This is just a foundation for Registration of guns. The out of state money that is poring in is for this. Vermonters have spoke by voting for Gov. Scott, who is agents this bill. Why don’t the people in Montpelier, get through there heads that we don’t need this. we need to cut spending, get jobs back here and do something about the drug problem. This back ground check is a waste of time and money.

  • Jim Hazell

    Vermont does not need gunsense’s nonsense. There are much bigger and much more important issues to worry about than guns. Most of the testimony by gunsense at the S31 hearings had NOTHING to do with Vermont. It’s a scam by Ann Braden and her ilk to get money. Nothing more.

  • Grant Christiansen

    Another distraction in front of us. Lets pass legislation for a non issue. This is how we have most of the problems in this country.

    I am looking forward to Scott working on actual issues that effect Vermonters every day, not non issues that waste more tax payer dollars.

    If the state and national elections are not a clue for you on how sick and tired we are, you need to pull your head out of the dirt.

    Politicians: focus on actual problems. Stop creating more legislation and employment for your friends. We need less committees and more action. VT State House is bloated. We should look there first and trim the fat. Then the economy.

    GunSense VT get out of the state. Search facebook for “GunSenseVT Exposed” and “Gun Owners of Vermont” to learn more.

  • Will Waizenegger

    There is a finite amount of legislative session time available each year to solve real problems throughout Vermont. Time, manpower and taxpayer money are extremely valuable things to use up at the statehouse. S.6 does NOTHING to justify itself there. The issue was solved already at great public expense and the politicians pushing this garbage seem to think the public can be tapped to pay for this crap endlessly.

    Please remember the names on that bill. It’s this kind of behavior that needs to be delt with next election day. Vermonters can’t afford constantly wasted time at the statehouse.

  • Lets take the focus off what is really happening… no industry (JOBS)… bad infrastructure.. people working 2 jobs.. high property taxes… losing our young people moving to other states… ITS the guns don’t ya know.. NO ITS NOT… its the OUT OF STATE MONEY that is buying Vermont.. lets beat the Casleton Institute survey once more… NEVER GOT A CALL FROM THEM have you… below link is how they do their survey

  • Jamie Carter

    “including an affidavit that recorded an incarcerated man with a background of abuse contacting his son and asking him to purchase a gun in a private sale.”

    And how would this law fix this problem? So the son buys the gun… then sells it to his father, a family member exempt from the background check law, and presto we are no better off.

    Now let’s actually think this through,

    Joe Criminal calls Jeff Gun Seller and want’s to purchase his firearm. He goes to Dick’s and fills out a background app because he is really really dumb and thinks that just maybe the computer system won’t catch him. But alas, it does. Now 1 of 3 things happen…

    1.) He sends in his sister Sally Clean Record to purchase the gun for him.

    2.) He says the heck with it and calls Tommy street thug and hands him a wad of cash and buts a gun anyways.

    3.) He assaults Jeff Gun Seller and steals the weapon.

    No matter what, he now has the gun and the law stopped nothing.

  • I support universal background checks on all persons purchasing a firearm. I think that the cost of these checks should be born by the State. It is we the people who will be safer so we the people should absorb the costs. Additionally, I think the lending clause in the bill should be taken out. It complicates matters. One last thought, there is a difference between the words “Ban” and “regulate”. the Second Amendment begins…”A well regulated militia, being necessary to a free state…” It seems to me that rules around the use and ownership of fire arms is written into the Constitution. This seems to protect “We the People”.

    • Jon Corrigan

      Vermont also has a Constitution; Article 16 states: ‘That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State–and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.’

      I don’t see the word ‘regulate’ there.