State Watch

New gun restrictions headed to Vermont governor’s desk

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A new gun restriction bill is headed for Vermont’s governor after the state Senate approved the bill on Friday.

Vermont’s Democratic-majority state Senate passed the measure in a 17-13 vote on Friday, Reuters reported. The legislation passed the state House on Tuesday.

The bill will now head to Gov. Phil Scott (R), a lifelong gun owner who also holds a 93 percent approval rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA), but is expected to sign the bill. 

Scott said his stances on gun control “changed completely” after the February mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school in which 17 people died. Vermont also averted a school shooting in February after a tip to law enforcement, according to the Burlington Free Press.


The legislation would raise the minimum legal age required to buy firearms in Vermont to 21, expand background checks for private gun sales, ban bump stocks and magazines of more than 10 rounds for long guns and 15 rounds for pistols.

Scott said after the Senate vote that he supports the legislation, and that it would protect citizens from gun violence without infringing on their constitutional rights. 

The Vermont legislation, and its support by a Republican governor, has drawn comparisons to the tightened gun restrictions Florida implemented shortly after the shooting. The NRA has sued to bar the new Florida law from taking effect, saying it violates rights. The gun lobby group has particularly focused on the age restriction change.

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