Pushing the Limits

gunsVERMONT- Senate Bill 31 is no longer on the table, but, a new bill has passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee, looking to go into law. 


The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a gun bill by a vote of 5-0. 

 Unlike S.31, the new bill would prohibit people with convictions for certain violent crimes from owning firearms. The new bill does not demand all private sales to have a background check like the old bill. 

The new law would not allow people with a mental illness who are found by the court to be a danger to themselves or others own a gun. They would have to report a FBI database. 

It would also not allow felons to own a gun with the exceptions of people that were convicted of lewd and lascivious behavior, reckless endangerment, several motor vehicle crimes and misdemeanor neglect or abuse of a vulnerable adult. 

Senator Joe Benning of Caledonia County, was one of the votes on the Judiciary Committee. 

When S.31 was still on the table it was believed that Senator Benning would not vote for a gun bill but on Friday he did. According to his Facebook page he said "I know there are some who are disappointed that the committee passed this out unanimously, especially since it appears universally expected that I was going to vote against it. But the bill I intended to vote against officially died in committee."

Senator Benning Changed the waiting period to three years before someone can petition the court to have their name taken off the FBI list. 

The problem some are having with the Bill is that there is nothing saying that someone who is mentally ill can be taken off the FBI list, only those whom are felons. 

The real problem many have, is the fact that owning a gun is a right in this country. The second amendment in the U.S. Constitution states, "the right of people to bear arms, shall not be infringed." 

Senator Benning also wrote on his Facebook page that, "I am fully cognizant that there are those who still seek to have Vermont adopt a universal background check. I remain, and i believe that the majority of the committee remains adamantly opposed to such a thing on constitutional grounds. I can quite confident when I say the Judiciary committee takes your constitutional rights VERY seriously." 

Governor Peter Shumlin has shown no interest in the bill but it is reported that he will look at it if and when it comes to his desk.