VT Gov. Scott signs sweeping gun legislation
April 11, 2018 1:24 PM   Subscribe

Gov. Scott (R) signed three bills on the steps of the capitol in an outdoor ceremony attended by supporters and opponents of the bills. The governor had been opposed to gun control bills in the state until the arrest in Fair Haven two months ago when a massacre was averted. He spoke passionately about how important these bills were for the safety of the citizens of the state.

The bills:
S.55- More background checks, no unlicensed sales, no sales to under-21, no sales of large-capacity magazines, no bump stocks. Effective Oct 1, 2018.

S.221 - Extreme Risk Protection Orders, involving firearms and/or explosives

H.422 - Removal of firearms from persons arrested/cited for domestic violence.

The governor said S.221 and H.422 were unanimously passed. He also spoke to the deterioration of discourse in America, and how anger was contributing to a rise in violence.
posted by MtDewd (37 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
 
Dear Gov. Scott:

Thank you.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:32 PM on April 11 [30 favorites]


I just found video of the speech.
He was awesome. (I was there) Best speech by a Republican I have heard, maybe ever.
I'm not sure that comes across on video, but it was very moving in person.
posted by MtDewd at 1:58 PM on April 11 [8 favorites]


Well I'll be.
posted by 1adam12 at 2:01 PM on April 11 [2 favorites]


Why the October effective date, though? Seems like that’s just screaming “stock up now!”
posted by Thorzdad at 2:08 PM on April 11 [1 favorite]


WHOA. This looks like my wish list!
posted by mikelieman at 2:08 PM on April 11 [1 favorite]


Not to sound cynical or anything, but it seems that the only thing these days that will make a republican find and rehydrate the shriveled remains of their humanity is not being able to run for their current office again...
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 2:10 PM on April 11 [3 favorites]


This feels good in so many ways. For my kids in school, obvs.

I wrote to gov Scott after he publicly signaled a change in his attitude (following a foiled plot to shoot up a VT school) to express my support for reasonable legislation as a non-NRA-member, non-Republican, voting gun owner.

Two Republican state reps in my district received death threats on social media.
posted by maniabug at 2:24 PM on April 11 [4 favorites]


He was awesome. (I was there) Best speech by a Republican I have heard, maybe ever.
I'm not sure that comes across on video, but it was very moving in person.


Holy cow. It sounds like it was a rowdy scene.
posted by billjings at 2:36 PM on April 11 [1 favorite]


My right-wing gun-nut co-worker from Vermont has been rather silent about this after months of crowing about how Vermont doesn't have the same stupid gun laws as Massachusetts. This pleases me.
posted by briank at 2:39 PM on April 11 [14 favorites]


Thorzdad: Why the October effective date, though? Seems like that’s just screaming “stock up now!”

This law impacts a range of government agencies, businesses and individuals across the state. They'll have to change their government and business practices, develop procedures and train staff. I just started skimming S.55, and there's a number of requirements for different government departments.

As a government official (not in Vermont, and not in any associated department to those mentioned in the bills), I appreciate having time to develop new systems to respond to new laws.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:49 PM on April 11 [15 favorites]


kleinsteradikaleminderheit: "Not to sound cynical or anything, but it seems that the only thing these days that will make a republican find and rehydrate the shriveled remains of their humanity is not being able to run for their current office again..."

Scott can run again, if he wishes. Vermont has no gubernatorial term limit.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:49 PM on April 11 [1 favorite]


I think Scott has locked in reelection with this to be honest. I don’t think he can be successfully primaried from the right and this makes it a lot easier for many Dems to mark next to his name.
posted by meinvt at 2:53 PM on April 11 [4 favorites]


I wrote to gov Scott after he publicly signaled a change in his attitude (following a foiled plot to shoot up a VT school) to express my support for reasonable legislation as a non-NRA-member, non-Republican, voting gun owner.

From that article:
"I kind of thought, 'What am I going to feel more guilty about-- if I betray this friendship or let people potentially die?' And the answer was pretty clear to me," McDevitt said. "In this scenario, the friendship isn't the most important thing."
...from a teenager. I know I wasn't that brave or clear-headed at 17.

The kids, maybe they *are* all right.
posted by notsnot at 3:02 PM on April 11 [16 favorites]


This is not good news to everybody.
posted by Megafly at 3:41 PM on April 11


Two Republican state reps in my district received death threats on social media.

The linked article seems to identify them as Democrat and Independent?
posted by Four Ds at 4:02 PM on April 11 [1 favorite]


This is not good news to everybody.

Statistically, though, it is good news for everybody!
posted by OverlappingElvis at 4:16 PM on April 11 [38 favorites]


Step 3: ...
Step 4: Repeal the 2nd Amendment.
posted by clawsoon at 4:18 PM on April 11 [3 favorites]


Four Ds you’re right I botched that.

Mods is this something you could fix?
posted by maniabug at 4:42 PM on April 11 [1 favorite]


My brave little state!
posted by Grandysaur at 5:27 PM on April 11


>> Not to sound cynical or anything, but it seems that the only thing these days that will make a republican find and rehydrate the shriveled remains of their humanity is not being able to run for their current office again...

> Scott can run again, if he wishes. Vermont has no gubernatorial term limit.

Oh THAT governor Scott!!! Shit, I should have known he had too much hair to be the OTHER governor Scott (who can't run again but is running for the Senate now etc etc...) My brain went from gun legislation straight to Florida... I take it all back.

On the plus side, the ideal time to make a total ass out of oneself is while being maximally cynical... I call that good news.
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 5:28 PM on April 11 [6 favorites]


So, I confess to being out of the loop on Vermont, but I always thought it was a growing enclave if progressivism. Could someone please give me a two-sentence synopsis on how the heck did it get a Republican governor? Are the rural voters still that conservative?
posted by darkstar at 6:30 PM on April 11


darkstar - if you find that hard to believe, google the governor of VT's neighbor to the south, Massachusetts... Make sure you're seated when you do this.
posted by youthenrage at 6:36 PM on April 11


Oh THAT governor Scott!!! Shit, I should have known he had too much hair to be the OTHER governor Scott (who can't run again but is running for the Senate now etc etc...)

Yeah, the Other Governor Scott lacks the empathy and sense to actually do anything that might benefit his constituents, even by accident, never mind on purpose.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:49 PM on April 11 [1 favorite]


Vt is relatively progressive. But there’s plenty of Trump support, I run into it frequently around town. Watch the video of Phil Scott’s speech today and listen to the crowd yelling.
posted by maniabug at 6:52 PM on April 11


Why the October effective date, though? Seems like that’s just screaming “stock up now!”

The only part of S. 55 that is delayed until October is the prohibition on possession of bump stocks. They have to come up with a system to allow people to surrender or otherwise dispose of them before it becomes a 1 year jail or $1000 fine crime.

The stuff about improved background checks, sales under age 21, and prohibitions on higher capacity magazine sales goes into effect when the bill passes, so that's effective now. (items owned prior to today are grandfathered in, and there'll still be some black market shenanigans because they're available for sale in other parts of the country, and it'll be somewhat hard to prevent "importation" if someone goes out of state to purchase them; even if that act is a crime in VT now.)
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:52 PM on April 11 [3 favorites]


The devil's in the details of course and looks like there's still plenty of loophole space for background checks:

Immediate family members will be exempt from background checks, and the requirement will not apply to a person who gives a friend their guns to prevent "imminent harm."

Also, what sort of proof do you have that you bought a 30 clip mag before the ban?

Residents will be allowed to keep any magazines they already own. This "grandfathering" provision has led some Vermont residents to rush to stock up on 30-round magazines.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:30 PM on April 11 [3 favorites]


While taking heart in reasonable gun control laws being enacted, I cannot help but be saddened by the extreme criminal prosecution of an 18 year old who had yet to commit an act of violence. Jumping straight to lifelong imprisonment for what essentially amounts to thoughtcrime is terrifying in a wholly different vein.
posted by bastionofsanity at 7:54 PM on April 11 [2 favorites]


Yes I agree with you for sure bastionofsanity. It is wrong to make him a villain for the same reasons it's tempting to do so. The route to real justice for this person—not to mention for his intended victims—leads through a lot of territory implicating a lot of our economy and stuff we are collectively and institutionally scared and probably unequipped to unpack.

One of the reasons our government's legislative, judicial, and executive functions are unable to address the fundamentals of this kind of violence is that its roots are still unmentionable, or maybe just orthogonal to rational theories of governance. I'm talking about the assumptions behind our culture's bona fides. Heroism. The cult of the individual. Misogyny (let's face it that AR15 is a prosthetic pecker). Exceptionalism. Advertising (and I mean the deep psychology behind it, not the career path). There is a deep tribal instinct to our society still, and that tribalism is fine with innocent lives being lost so long as the tribe structure is intact.
posted by maniabug at 8:08 PM on April 11 [3 favorites]


> Jumping straight to lifelong imprisonment for what essentially amounts to thoughtcrime is terrifying in a wholly different vein.

I don't think he should be in prison for the rest of his life, and I also don't think he's being charged with thoughtcrime. He made plans. He told people about the plans. He took steps to carry out the plans. We can definitely agree that an 18-year-old with a documented history of mental illness doesn't deserve life in prison and also acknowledge that he did more than just have passing thoughts about shooting people.
posted by rtha at 8:16 PM on April 11 [15 favorites]


He kept a journal laying it all out.
posted by xammerboy at 9:20 PM on April 11


Darkstar, from my basic understanding, old guard Vermonters are made up of the same agricultural/country stock as many red states— the conservatives are often the folks from the families that have lived there forever and have seen their livelihoods die.
The liberals are all first or second generation back-to-the-land hippy transplants or whatever (Bernie Sanders being a prime example.)
So there’s a bit of both, but to say that Vermont is solidly blue is incorrect, and ignores the long history of the state, and the people who have lived there for generations.
posted by Grandysaur at 10:03 PM on April 11 [4 favorites]


Vermont is rather uhhh interesting politically. There are a lot of liberal people who live in Vermont, driving the politics to the left, while historically the politics was not exactly right wing, but more financially conservative and socially "leave well enough alone". I've got a signed copy of The Vermont Political Tradition given to me by the author when I graduated from High School. It is a very good read if you're interested in the history of Vermont Politics.

There are a lot of people in Vermont that own guns, mostly because there are a lot of hunters. It looks like this is perfectly reasonable legislation that will impact them zero (except the under 21 provision I first went hunting at 12 or so I think but still don't have my own gun just use my dads). You don't need a 30 round magazine to go hunting and if you need a bump stock for hunting that you need better training because really you should be only firing a single shot. (exceptions for duck hunting with a shotgun and a dog to swim out and collect them for you) I find it rather interesting that Vermont, in one fell swoop went from the state with the loosest gun laws (ie there weren't any state gun laws only the federal ones) to now quite possibly one of the stricter ones. I particularly like S221 and H422 which actively remove weapons from people deemed to be a risk. That is probably going to have more of an impact that the other law, which only restricts a bit who can buy a gun and what kind of gun that can be.
posted by koolkat at 1:54 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


Wow, there are some very angry people in that crowd. I don't think it had really hit home for me how polarized people can get these days.

I hope the new laws have the effects they're designed to, and that VT becomes, and stays, a safer place - where hunting is still as much a part of people's leisure as it is now. Not only for the good of the people of VT, but also as a guide for other states.
posted by Fraxas at 3:22 AM on April 12


Yeah, I'm with rtha on this one. "Conspiracy to commit..." is a valid charge, for good reason. There's no reason it shouldn't extend to a single individual who makes detailed plans to commit a crime and has a clear intent to carry it out.

Things like his history of mental illness and the fact that he didn't get a chance to carry out the crime should be considerations during sentencing, but this is clearly a crime crime to me and not a "thoughtcrime".
posted by tobascodagama at 6:13 AM on April 12


Vermont is rather uhhh interesting politically.
Vermont has voted Republican for president more times than any other state. (although not recently)

It has a long tradition of voting Republican, although most of that history was when the Democrats were the segregation party.
There are certainly nutjobs on the left and on the right here, and Trump got 30% of the vote, but mostly we're used to civil behavior and discussion at town meetings.
There were some really angry people at the rally, but I don't think they represented the majority even of gun owners in the state.

For the last 50 years, we have alternated between Republican and Democratic governors.
In my time here at least, the Republicans have all been reasonable, and with positions you would recognize as pre-80's Republican. Not nutjobs.
Scott was very popular around the state as a race car driver and also was fairly popular as Lieutenant Governor.
He also joined the coalition of states committed to fulfilling the tenets of the Paris Climate Agreement when Trump withdrew.

I own a button that says 'No More Republicans, ever!', but after seeing him yesterday, I could vote for him. A bunch of Democrats at the rally said similar things.
posted by MtDewd at 6:47 AM on April 12 [5 favorites]


I think the idea that this is a good thing for Scott's political career is off base. The VT GOP pumped out a "Make Vermont Great Again" email yesterday, and this lovely individual is playing an increasingly forceful role in Republican politics.

Even if Scott gets the nom, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see another Republican run, even if it's as an independent or write-in. Christine Hallquist is barely a Democrat anyway, so if centrist voters can get over the fact that she's trans, my money's on her.
posted by papayaninja at 10:49 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


I own a button that says 'No More Republicans, ever!', but after seeing him yesterday, I could vote for him. A bunch of Democrats at the rally said similar things.


This is the way I used to think about the occasional non-crazy Republican. Not anymore.

Because while there may be a decent R here or there, they support a party that has degenerated into an ugly cohort of official grifters, racists, sexists, xenophobes, homophobes, fascists, warmongers, theocrats, robber barons, environmental polluters, and overall deplorables. And as soon as that one decent, reasonable Republican is elected to office, they bring with them the whole entourage of staffers, sycophants, lobbyists and judicial appointments that are part of the degenerate, deadly Republican machine.

So no, if the past forty years have taught me anything, it’s not to allow my idealistic sense of reasonableness toward individuals override my lived experience of holy-shit-the-Republicans-are-literally-killing-us.
posted by darkstar at 11:30 PM on April 12 [8 favorites]


« Older The untold story of how Van Morrison fled...   |   Hockey in the desert Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.