The response from 2nd Amendment supporters seems to have pressured the Vermont Senate to drop attempts to control gun ownership for now, but the Vermont House seems to be poised to pick up the ball. The following is from the Vermont Press Bureau:
Reported first by Green Mountain Daily’s Ed Garcia and confirmed first by Paul Heintz at Seven Days, Sen. Philip Baruth says he’ll withdraw a proposed ban on assault weapons.
Baruth’s proposal fueled a groundswell of opposition that erupted Saturday in Montpelier, when about 250 Vermonters rallied on the steps of the Statehouse in support of the Second Amendment. In a statement provided to Heintz, Baruth said “it is painfully clear to me now that little support exists in the Vermont Statehouse for this sort of bill.”
Despite the groundswell of opposition for 2nd Amendment supporters and the lack of support for the control of gun ownership in the Vermont Statehouse, some in the Vermont House have decided to push for such control anyway:
Baruth’s decision to withdraw S32, however, won’t table the gun-control issue in Montpelier this year. Over in the House, Reps. Linda Waite-Simpson, an Essex Junction Democrat, and Adam Greshin, a Warren Independent, are dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on a piece of legislation that will, most controversially, seek to ban ammunition clips containing more than 10 rounds.
The bill also looks to require background checks for the purchase of firearms at gun shows, and would also enact in state statute laws that already exist federally. Federal provisions not currently in state code include prohibitions on gun ownership by: convicted felons; people dishonorably discharged from a branch of the Armed Services; people deemed by a judge to be a danger to themselves; and people against whom a judge has issued a “relief from abuse order” – i.e. a restraining order designed to protect victims of domestic violence.
“We just took route of, let’s follow federal law right now in our own state, which we are not doing,” Waite-Simpson said this morning. “I know there’s an argument that it is really ATF oversight, however I think we all understand that the ATF does not have the kind of presence here that we can count on to enforce these laws in our communities.”
These House members are not the only ones who support the federal government’s approach to the control of gun ownership: “The people who spent their Saturday at the Statehouse may have dodged a bullet in Vermont, however President Barack Obama continues to push for federal bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Gov. Peter Shumlin has said he opposes any state-specific attempts at gun control, but last week threw his support around the president’s nation-wide ban.”