Gun Sense

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NRA lobbyist says he represents Vermont interests

MONTPELIER — A National Rifle Association lobbyist is on hand at the State House for today’s Senate debate and vote on a gun bill, just days after gun rights advocates accused Gun Sense Vermont of being a front for a national group. Gun Sense maintains that it is a Vermont-based, grassroots organization. The two-year-old group is seeking passage of a bill, S.141, that would make it a state-level crime for some convicts to possess firearms. It would also require the names of people found to be mentally ill by a court to be reported to a national database. Earlier versions of legislation before the Senate included an expansion of background checks to private gun sales, but that has since been shelved. On Monday, the Vermont Second Amendment Coalition blasted Gun Sense for being a front for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s group Everytown For Gun Safety. A lobbyist from the Necrason Group, testifying on behalf of Gun Sense, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Gun Sense needed “to get national expertise” before signing off on a proposed amendment. Continue Reading →

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Gun bill advances in Senate

MONTPELIER — The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a bill ahead of the Legislature’s Friday evening deadline for non-money bills on a 5-0 vote, ensuring the full Senate will consider a scaled back-gun bill this year. The legislation, supported unanimously in the committee Friday, seeks to ban some convicted criminals from possessing weapons and will require people found by a court to be a danger to themselves or others to be reported to the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System. It would take effect on Oct. 1. The legislation is a scaled back version of another bill, S.31, that Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Sears, D-Bennington, declared “dead,” because it included an expansion of background checks for private gun sales, something that was vehemently opposed by gun rights activists. Continue Reading →

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Guns, school governance and tax refund halt – Capitol Beat, Feb. 9, 2015

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Vermont Press Bureau chief Neal Goswami and VPB reporter Josh O’Gorman discuss a public hearing coming up on Tuesday about gun legislation, a House Education Committee bill to reform school governance and why the state has temporarily halted issued tax refunds. Continue Reading →

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Gun bill introduced in the Vermont Senate

MONTPELIER — Legislation to expand background checks for all gun purchases in Vermont was introduced in the Senate Thursday and sets the stage for vigorous debate. Democratic Sens. John Campbell, D-Windsor, Claire Ayer, D-Addison and Philip Baruth, D-Chittenden, all members of Senate Democratic leadership, have sponsored the bill. Current law requires background checks when purchasing a gun from a federally licensed dealer. But background checks are not required when purchasing firearms at a gun show or online. Continue Reading →

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Gun bill set for State House showdown

MONTPELIER — More than 100 gun control advocates packed a State House room Wednesday in support of pending legislation that would expand criminal background checks to gun shows and online gun sales in Vermont. The legislation is in the process of being drafted and will be co-sponsored by Sens. Philip Baruth, D-Chittenden, John Campbell, D-Windsor, and Claire Ayer, D-Addison — all members of Senate leadership. Gun Sense Vermont, a gun control advocacy group, held a press conference Wednesday to highlight the legislation and encourage lawmakers to support it. “In Vermont our laws are leftover from an age gone by, from before there was Internet, before there was an interstate. Continue Reading →

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