Gun Control Hearings Tuesday

By John McClaughry

On Tuesday, the annual gun control carnival starts up again in the State House in Montpelier. It’s a production of three gun control groups, all or most of them financed by New York City billionaire Michael Bloomberg: Gun Sense Vermont, Moms Demand Action, and EVERYTOWN.

There are 3 bills in play:

S.6 is this year’s version of   Universal Background Check Registration, pushed by Sen. Philip Baruth of Chittenden county. It would require any private transfer of a firearm except between immediate family members to go through a federally licensed firearms dealer, charging a reasonable fee.

H.422 is Rep. Maxine Grad’s Domestic Violence Confiscation bill passed by the House last year. It would allow a police officer to confiscate a gun during an actual  domestic violence event.

  S.221 is Sen. Sears’ Extreme Risk Prevention Orders bill. It would allow a court order to remove a firearm from a person who by clear and convincing evidence is a threat to anybody.

I concede that there are reasons to deny deadly weapons to a person actually involved in a domestic assault or a similar act of violence. What I find constitutionally troublesome  is regulating firearms ownership by ordinary citizens who haven’t done anything to justify police intervention.

Gun Owners of Vermont is sponsoring a pre-hearing rally beginning  at four o’clock Tuesday outside the state house, and the pro-gun control groups will undoubtedly congregate within the building for the hearing, which is scheduled for 4:30.

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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

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