Vermont’s senate was united Wednesday on a topic historically avoided in Montpelier, gun restrictions.
“We have a historic opportunity at this point in time to demonstrate to the world that this bill accomplishes something aimed at the root of the cause that we are concerned about,” said Sen. Joe Benning, R- Caledonia District.
The senate approved a measure that would take guns from people who pose a risk to themselves or others, including suicidal situations.
“It’s the beginning of continuing discussions, its one piece of a larger puzzle,” said Sen. Tim Ashe, D/P- Senate President Pro-Tempore.
Guns may be taken for up to 60 days, pending a review by the Attorney General’s Office. Before a gun is taken, the proposal requires law enforcement officers to get the OK from a judge.
“It has fourth amendment protections it protects lawful gun owners’ rights but it provides a tool for police in the field that they can use with the courts,” said Bill Moore, Vermont Traditions Coalition.
A self-described A-graded NRA member and Vermont senator Randy Brock stood in support of the bill, “This is not a gun control law… This is a lunatic control law.”
This comes days after a foiled school shooting in Fair Haven which led to a call to action by Governor Phil Scott who has always maintained the stance of no gun reform, a move that’s received some backlash.
“He doesn’t talk to anybody, he just went ahead and did this and we understand he has got to do something but he needs to talk to us,” said Bert Saldi, gun rights activists.
Saldi has been standing outside the statehouse since the governor announced his change of view, but is in support of the senate’s bill.
Saldi said, “We don’t want people getting hurt if it’s a domestic issue and they need to remove the firearm, fine.”
The house will need to jump on board before the proposal reaches the governor’s desk.
The senate is expected to take up yet another gun-related bill which could be a bit more controversial, universal background checks.