Opinion: Vt. gun laws in need of updating

In January 1,400 letters and 12,000 petition signatures were hand delivered in Montpelier in support of a bill to be sponsored by, among others, our Sen. Claire Ayer. The bill, S.31, is about to be re-drafted to focus on two of the three provisions originally included.
Those two provisions are one, to give state and local law enforcement the ability to prosecute firearm possession offenses, rather than having to refer them to the federal justice system. Ours is the only state NOT to have this state law, and the Vermont Police Chiefs and Vermont Police associations and Vermont’s state’s attorneys support it.
And two, to require that key court records are communicated to the NICS background check system when someone is adjudicated to be a danger to themselves or others. This is supported by the Vermont Police Chiefs Association, the Vermont Medical Society and the Vermont Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
If YOU support these laws, please email or call Sen. Dick Sears, the chair of Judiciary Committee and Gov. Shumlin (who has said Vermont doesn’t need new gun laws), and your own senators. And please do so right away. The committee will be re-drafting the bill, voting on it, and, if passed by them, presenting it to the full senate soon.
Bobbi Loney

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