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Senate OKs gun bill; Gov. Scott is up next

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Posted on April 2, 2018 |
By ALAN J. KEAYS of VTDigger.org



MONTPELIER — A landmark bill that would make a series of changes to the state’s gun laws has received final approval from the General Assembly.

Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, says he intends to sign the three bills that introduce new restrictions on gun use and ownership.

The historic legislation was the subject of intense debate in the Democratically controlled Legislature. The House held two marathon sessions and the Senate engaged in contentious committee hearings and spirited floor debate.

The passage Friday of the sweeping changes to the state’s gun laws comes on the heels of final approval earlier in the day of two separate bills that allow police to seize firearms in dangerous situations, one in the Senate the other in the House.

On Friday afternoon, the Senate voted 17-13 to pass S.55, a bill that expands background checks; bans bump stocks; raises the age to buy a gun to 21, unless the buyer has taken a hunter safety course (which is already required to obtain a hunting license), is a veteran, or is a law enforcement official or in the military; and sets limits on the size of magazines — 15 rounds for handguns and 10 for shotguns.

Both Addison County senators — Claire Ayer and Christopher Bray — voted in favor of S.55.

S.55 is part of a package of gun legislation that is on the way to the governor. On Thursday, the House passed S.211, which permits police to seize guns from a person deemed an “extreme risk” to themselves or others, and the Senate approved H.422, known as “the domestic violence bill.” H.422 sets in place a process for police to confiscate firearms from people cited or arrested on domestic violence charges.

Scott says he will sign all three bills into law after his attorneys review the legislation for possible technical errors.

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