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Vermont House passes gun reform bill, now heads to Senate floor

MONTPELIER, Vt. - The Vermont House gave final approval on major gun reform Tuesday night.

The bill would expand background checks, a ban on bump stocks, and a ten round limit on high capacity magazines or clips and raising the gun purchasing age to 21.

Dozens came to the State House Tuesday morning dressed in orange, many of whom were gun owners, sportsmen and women, or collectors.

S.55 was given preliminary approval by the House last Friday.

Advocates say the time is now for change, while opponents call the bill a cultural slap across the face.

Tuesday morning, a newly formed group consisting of law enforcement officers spoke out against the bill, specifically on the magazine ban.

"Adding this burden onto law enforcement to try an track down magazines with a capacity of over ten rounds is a burden we can't hold," said Chief Aaron Cochran, Hardwick Police Department.

"It will not make our kids or anyone any safer, it will be unenforceable from a law enforcement standpoint," said Dennis Amsden, VT Law Enforcement Against Gun Control.

The debate was scheduled to begin Tuesday morning, but got delayed after a number of amendments, mainly focused on protecting Vermont manufacturers, collectors and current bump stock owners.

Governor Phil Scott has been criticized over his current stance of supporting gun reform.

During a press conference earlier Tuesday, Local 22 & Local 44 News reporter Spencer Conlin asked the governor what he says to his supporters who may not agree with him.

"It's not lost on me that I disappointed many of my supporters and I understand that... It is a tremendous responsibility as governor to make sure that you protect the citizens of the state, so this isn't an easy decision to make. But I have to look at it broadly and ask myself, and do some soul searching," said Scott.

The measure passed the House 89-54 on Tuesday night.

The bill heads to the Senate Wednesday.


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