Proposed Gun Legislation In Congress

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LYNDONVILLE - The House of Representatives on Wednesday has passed a piece of legislation to change federal firearm laws. The bill includes a measure to expand the background check process on gun sales and eases restrictions on carrying firearms from one state to another.

From a law enforcement perspective, Lyndonville Police Chief, Jack Harris, said that he fully agrees with the expansion of background checks for purchasing and possessing firearms. "At current, pretty much anyone can purchase a gun from a private seller and carry it."


Expanded background checks seem to have mutual support nationwide in the wake of a November shooting at a church in Texas. The shooter had a history of domestic violence that should have prevented him from purchasing a gun. However, the Air Force failed to notify civilian authorities about his domestic violence conviction.

Vermont has very limited gun laws and does not even have a permit process to carry a firearm. "Since Vermont doesn't have a permit process it wouldn't cause an increase to have to respect permits from other states," said Chief Harris.

GOP State Senator, Joe Benning, said, "Death by a firearm is rare in Vermont and Vermont is consistently at the top of the list for safest states." Benning went on to say, "For Vermont, nobody has proved expanding background checks will improve our already safest state status."

Benning believes that the current gun laws for background checks are working and he doesn't see a need to change them.

The system only works for those that follow the system, according to Chief Harris. "Many states have permit processes and yet guns end up in the hands of felons who should not have them." He went on to say, " I do not believe by making laws against guns, it will keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them."