MONTPELIER, Vt. — Today, the Vermont House gave preliminary approval to gun violence prevention measures in S.169on a vote of 82-58 that:
Establish a 24-hour waiting period for the purchase of handguns; and,
Update and provide clarity on several restrictions on the transfer and use of high capacity ammunition feeding devices.
“This bill is a gun violence prevention bill,” said Rep. Martin Lalonde (D-South Burlington), the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee who presented the bill on the floor. “It not only prevents impulsive acts of self-violence, but also prevents homicides. A waiting period provides time to cool off, interrupting the impulsive chain of events that lead to self-harm or violence. We know that many suicide attempts occur with little planning during a short-term crisis, and that 90 percent of firearm suicide attempts result in death. Instituting a short waiting period lets the heat of the moment pass and helps to prevent the tragedy of suicide.”
House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (D-South Hero) said, “Our goal is to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, not responsible gun owners. This bill is an important step in ensuring Vermonters are safe and our communities are strong.”
“I’m proud of the important step the House took tonight,” added Rep. Maxine Grad (D-Moretown), Chair of the House Judiciary Committee. “S.169 moves us toward our goals of suicide and domestic violence prevention. This bill is an important public safety bill that will save lives.”