The Vermont Senate passed H.230, the gun violence prevention bill. This bill seeks to reduce gun violence and prevent deaths by suicide by instituting a negligent storage provision, expanding eligible petitioners for Extreme Risk Protection Orders to family or household members and creating a 72-hour waiting period for firearm transfers.
“Vermonters want sensible gun violence prevention laws,” said Senator Sears, chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary. “H.230 will help reduce community violence, prevent suicides and save lives.”
Data show that unsecured guns pose safety risks – in particular to youth – and that waiting periods are associated with reduced rates of both homicide and suicide by firearm.
“H.230 is the most far-reaching and comprehensive gun safety legislation since S.55 was signed on the steps of the Vermont State House in 2018. It will reduce suicides, it will reduce homicides, and it will not in any way infringe on self-defense, or traditional hunting and target shooting,” said Senator Baruth. “Right now Vermont is the only state in New England without a law to prevent youth access to firearms — H.230 brings us in line with that regional consensus. Today’s strong vote is a signal that inaction on gun violence is no longer an option.”
“As a social worker who works primarily with teens and young adults, I know just how big and transitory their emotions can be,” said Senator Vyhovsky, member of the Senate Committee on Judiciary. “And due to brain development, this population is particularly compulsive when under duress. And as a gun owner myself, nothing in this bill strikes me as overly cumbersome but rather simple common-sense safety measures. I’m proud to vote yes on H.230 because it will save lives.”
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