The Vermont House debated major gun legislation Friday. There was a failed attempt to delay the vote until April 10th, pending a public hearing on S. 55.
The House did agree to vote on the bill by section. It moved quickly to pass sections 1-5 by a vote of 141-2, which deals with how the state will dispose firearms being held as evidence.
The House also ruled in favor of banning bump stocks by a 119-25 vote. There were concerns about the ‘instant criminalization’ of Vermonters who currently own bump stock. There is an expected amendment that would change the date of effectiveness to October.
On Wednesday the House Committee on Judiciary approved a senate-backed bill that would expand background checks to include firearms sold privately and raise the gun purchasing age to 21.
The House added other measures to include the ban of bump stocks and a ten-round limit on high capacity magazines and clips. It also considered banning assault-style weapons, but there were concerns over what guns the ban would apply to.
Governor Phil Scott called on lawmakers to come forward with gun reform after law enforcement foiled what prosecutors call a ‘well-planned’ school shooting at Fair Haven Union High School.
The House continued to debate Friday afternoon on universal background checks, round limits on high capacity magazines and raising the gun purchasing age.