The Vermont chapter of Moms Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement applauding the Vermont House of Representatives for voting to pass S.30, a bill which would close the “Charleston Loophole”, bring about protections for victims of domestic violence, create avenues for medical professionals to protect their patients in crisis and their communities, and more. The bill will move to become eligible to pass the House and be sent to the Senate tomorrow. Moms Demand Action volunteers in Vermont sent dozens of emails to lawmakers urging them to advance the bill, as well as provided testimony in favor of its passage.
“Our state needs meaningful, comprehensive gun safety reform, and this bill is a crucial step in the right direction,” said Allie Breyer, a volunteer with the Vermont chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and others with dangerous histories saves lives. This bill will strengthen protections for vulnerable Vermonters and keep our communities safe. ”
The reforms S.30 would create include:
- Closing the “Charleston Loophole” by ensuring that law enforcement has sufficient time to complete a background check of prospective gun purchasers;
- Affirming the ability of Vermont’s judges to disarm domestic abusers who are subject to an emergency Relief From Abuse order by ordering them to relinquish their firearms and prohibiting firearm possession while the order is in effect;
- Prohibiting the possession of guns in hospital buildings across the state;
- Affirming the ability of health care providers to notify law enforcement when they believe an armed person poses an extreme risk to themselves or others; and,
- Requiring the state to annually report data on the use of extreme risk protection orders (ERPO) and their impact on suicide rates.
In an average year in Vermont, 75 people die by guns and 84 people are wounded. Gun violence costs Vermont $516.4 million each year, of which $12.2 million is paid by taxpayers. Vermont ranks 22nd in the country in gun law strength. More information on gun violence in Vermont is available here.