Vermont governor vetoes waiting period legislation

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Vermont Gov. Phil Scott on Monday rained on the gun control parade by vetoing legislation that would have created a 24-hour waiting period to purchase a handgun, according to ABC News.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott has vetoed legislation mandating a 24-hour waiting period. (YT, VTDigger)

The Republican governor spiked the legislation about a year after Vermont, which has been considered a top gun rights state, actually adopted some restrictions on gun owners, the story noted. The gun-owning governor told reporters that he believes the Green Mountain State’s gun laws are fine as they are now.

Gun control proponents who wanted a waiting period were “disappointed,” ABC News reported. The story quoted one couple who lost a sun to suicide, using a gun he purchased earlier on the same day.

“While we know this bill would not save everyone, by disrupting access to the most lethal method, it would have saved some,” wrote Rob and Alyssa Black in an email. “This bill would have saved our son; it could have saved yours.”

Anti-gunners had insisted that the legislation, S. 169, would have “helped save lives,” ABC reported.

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But is that assertion supported by hard data? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a study released by Harvard Business School in 2017 said waiting periods “were associated with a 17% decrease in gun homicides and a 7% to 11% decrease in gun suicides per year.”

Vermont has long been known for its lack of a permit or licenses in order to carry a firearm for personal protection or any other legitimate reason. For years, gun rights activists insisted that “Vermont-style carry” is the ideal, and the so-called “constitutional carry” movement has grown from that.

Rights activists opposed the legislation, arguing that it represented an encroachment on an enumerated Constitutional right. They said the law wouldn’t accomplish anything.

Waiting periods have not prevented some high-profile shootings. The killer in Virginia Beach bought the handguns he used in 2016 and 2018. Isla Vista killer Elliot Rodger bought three handguns, passing three different California background checks and waiting periods.

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