|Dear Putney Friends Meeting —
This past week was one for the record books in the Vermont legislature. From the start of the week, when more than 200 GunSense VT supporters rallied on the steps of the State House, to the end of the week, when the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to allow S. 221 (Extreme Risk Protection Order) to come before the Senate for a vote, the State House was buzzing with activity around gun violence prevention.
Dozens of middle and high school students spoke out powerfully about the fear that they live with and demanded that lawmakers and Governor Scott take steps to help reduce gun violence.
Legislators, and particularly the Senate Judiciary Committee, worked nearly around the clock in some cases to craft meaningful legislation.
The result is that we have the first opportunity in years to pass legislation that will truly help keep guns out of the wrong hands.
Both bills; S.221 (extreme risk protection order) and H221 (removing weapons from a person arrested or cited for domestic assault) passed through the Judiciary Committee this week and are moving to the Senate floor for vote on Wednesday. Bill S.6 (universal background checks) is being brought to the Senate floor for debate as an amendment.
This week please call and email your Senators (Link to Senate Contact Info.) and ask them to pass Senate bill 221, house bill 422 and Universal Background checks. THESE EMAILS AND PHONE CALLS WORK. We hear from legislators, staffers, and lobbyists that your effort and energy are driving the change that we are seeing. When they reach the House we will ask you to reach out to your Representatives.
We also ask you to please take a moment to thank SJC Chairman Dick Sears for working diligently on S. 221 and making it a strong and meaningful piece of legislation. We are also grateful to Governor Phil Scott for acknowledging that any conversation around public safety must include a conversation about guns and who should own them. This constitutes a significant shift in his position, a rare thing to see in political leaders today.
Finally, we ask again for your financial support. The NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action has activated their members in Vermont. They are saying that “most of these bills are being pushed by large out-of-state gun control groups who are trying to create a solution which simply does not exist in Vermont.” This is simply not true! We are a grass-roots organization of Vermonters who want to keep guns out of the wrong hands. We are asking for your donations so we can fight back!
Elissa Pine, GunSenseVT