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VICTORY FOR GUN SAFETY: Vermont Governor Phil Scott Signs Life-Saving Gun Safety Bill; Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Applaud  


S.4 Will Help Keep Firearms Out of the Hands of Dangerous People, Including Stalkers and Domestic Abusers, Establish a Grant Fund for Community Violence Intervention Programs, Prohibit Straw Purchasing and Defacing Firearm Serial Numbers, and Facilitate Compliance with New Enhanced Federal Background Check Requirements for People Under the Age of 21   

The Vermont chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement applauding  Vermont Governor Phil Scott signing  S.4 into law, an important gun safety bill that will prohibit people from getting access to firearms who should not have them; create state-level prohibitions on straw purchasing and tampering with serial numbers on firearms; create a new community violence prevention grant program; and facilitate compliance with new enhanced background check requirements under the Federal Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) for people under the age of 21.

“We applaud Governor Scott for signing this comprehensive gun safety bill that will keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them and provide funding to community organizations working to prevent violence in our communities,” said Jackie Wheel, a volunteer with the Vermont chapter of Moms Demand Action. “To ensure we’re taking a multi-faceted approach towards gun safety, we urge the Governor to build on this important progress by signing H.230 into law, as well, so that we can address Vermont’s gun suicide crisis and keep families together.” 

According to the Vermont Department of Health, there were 142 suicide deaths among Vermont residents in 2021 – the largest number and highest rate of suicide deaths ever recorded in Vermont. Suicide is the 8th leading cause of death in the state, and the rate of suicide increased by 16 percent from 2020 to 2021. And in 2020, 91% of firearm deaths were suicides. Access to firearms is tied to elevated suicide risk, as studies show that access to a gun triples the risk of death by suicide.

More information on gun violence in Vermont can be found here. If you have any questions, or would like to request an interview with a volunteer from Vermont from Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action, please don’t hesitate to reach out.