Gunrights

Gun carry ban opponent to senator: “It must be nice to have guards”

At 26:24 on this YouTube video of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Richard Sears and Second Amendment advocate Chris Bradley discuss lawmakers having armed guards to defend them – while many Vermonters don’t.

By Guy Page

A bill sponsored by Sen. Philip Baruth (D-Chittenden) to prohibit carrying guns in some public places lacks support in the Senate Judiciary Committee, committee member Sen. Joe Benning (R-Caledonia) confirmed yesterday.

S30 would prohibit the possession of firearms at childcare facilities, hospitals, and certain public buildings. It’s co-sponsored by 15 senators – enough to secure passage if they all vote for it. Co-sponsors are Sens. Balint, Bray, Campion, Chittenden, Clarkson, Cummings, Hardy, Hooker, Lyons, McCormack, Pearson, Perchlik, Ram, Sirotkin and White. All are Democrats and/or Progressives. 

Vermont Daily asked Benning yesterday – “Does it look like S30 doesn’t have the votes to get out of Judiciary?” – Sen. Benning responded, “I don’t believe it does in its present form, but the conversation continues.”

His comments follow a lively committee discussion Wednesday with Chris Bradley of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs. Bradley suggested everyone in the State House – including lawmakers – should be allowed to carry weapons to defend themselves. At that point, as seen on YouTube, Committee Chair Richard Sears (D-Bennington) said he’s concerned about volatile situations in hospitals, but doesn’t want anyone but capitol police carrying guns in the State House:

“Do I think legislators should be armed in the capital. No,” Sears said. “Not when we have a police force we’re spending good money on….I can’t think of anything more tragic than a legislator feeling threatened and pulling a gun on a witness, who we have told you can’t be armed.”

“Senator, you hit on a key point. It must be nice to have guards,” Bradley said.

“Yeah, it’s wonderful,” Sears said.

“Yeah, well, the rest of us don’t,” Bradley replied. At that point Sen. Jeanette White (D-Windham) scoffed and Sears cut off the line of discussion.

White then said that even though she is a co-sponsor, “I am having very serious concerns about the criminal aspects of it…I am concerned about creating criminal records for people.” Baruth has insisted that violations be treated as crimes, not merely as civil violations as suggested during testimony last week.

Later in the hearing, Sears himself expressed reservations with the current language in the bill. “I have concerns about the bill, but I want to be open minded that there are issues in hospitals…I’m having trouble with [the broad language about] government buildings. I assumed we were talking about town halls, municipal buildings, the State House.” Right now there aren’t three ‘yes’ votes on the five-person committee to move it to the Senate floor, he said.

Baruth said he would redraft the bill to be more specific and would if necessary limit the kinds of buildings included in the ban. He added that for him, as sponsor of gun restrictions legislation, the fear is personal.

“I have had to walk the gauntlet from my committee room to my car past hundreds of people dressed in hunting clothes who recognized me and act aggressively towards me, in the State House,” Baruth said. “It is not a comfortable feeling for me.” He’d feel better knowing guns were banned by law from the State House, he said.

It’s not the first time Baruth has raised concerns about armed citizens in the State House. Baruth opened a Wednesday, Jan. 20 hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee by explaining why he proposed S30: the “unprecedented” threat posed by gun-toting Americans upset by political opponents and mask-wearing policies. 

Last year, intimidating citizens brought firearms into state houses, Baruth said. “The pandemic intensified that. Anti mask protests began to merge with armed groups. People in daily life who ask others to wear a mask are being routinely assaulted and threatened…. We’re in an unprecedented time.” 

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12 replies »

  1. I have watched both of the Zoom-casts pertaining to S30 hearings. Mr. Bradley did seem to raise the hackles of Sen. Sear when he pointed out that he (Chris Bradley) did not have the luxury of a police presence to protect him from possible dangers as Sen. Sear does at the Capital. Sen. Sear later apologized for the way that he reacted, as did Chris for stating an obvious truth. I was generally satisfied with the way the hearing was handled. Compared to the way a gun control hearing was handled by the House a couple of years ago when a clearly biased Chair ramrodded a hearing in the well of the house, even ordering that pro-gun rights people should not silently wave or even display little 4″x 6″ American flags. The one moment that personally gave me pause was when Sen. Baruth suggested that a protest on the State House lawn preceding the ban on 30 round magazines where an out of state group handed out 30 round magazines was in his words, “not in the tradition of Vermont”. Here’s a guy from Lockport New York preaching Vermont values ? To me there is a hypocrisy here where it’s not okay to have an out of state group on the state house lawn peacefully protesting a proposed ban on legal product, but it’s alright to have a representative from former New York City Mayor, and unsuccessful Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety group giving testimony at the hearing. You know that Everytown is just up to their eyeballs in “Vermont tradition ” ! Really ?? As to the point of S30, adding to the number of “gun free” targets for nuts to exploit ? I think I just said it all.

  2. Point of clarification

    This article appears to state that I suggested that all lawmakers should be armed and that everyone in the statehouse should be armed.

    That is not correct and is inflammatory.

    At 24:37 I said “It is my understanding that there are legislators that are armed today..And that they go about their business at the statehouse today, armed.” I made no comment whatsoever concerning anybody else being armed at the Statehouse – that was it.

    All legislators have the right to be armed, but there is a Statehouse Rule that this is enforceable under 13 VSA 3705 that prevents this – on paper. Theoretically, only law enforcement should be armed at the Statehouse.

    Robert Heinlein wrote: “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”

    That may sound a bit harsh, and for non-firearms people that may even be upsetting – but why else is Vermont consistently one of the top two safest states in the nation according to FBI statistics on Violent Crime? Please: What other reason could there be?

    It is fact that law-abiding citizens who are not otherwise prohibited from possession of firearms may choose to arm themselves if they choose to be, and over 56,000 Vermont citizens, all of whom had to pass a background check prior to taking possession, felt the need in these troubling time to buy a record number of firearms for self-defense.

    The fact that I continuously have to defend that right from ever increasing encroachment – dare I say “infringement” – is my cross to bear, and I bear it willingly.

    .

  3. I saw a movie once where only the police and military were allowed to have guns. It was called Schlindler’s List.

    I WILL NOT OBEY !
    I WILL NOT COMPLY !

    • Great Point. The Demos want a socialist state, cancel the first two amendments of our Constitution, ramp up Twitter, Facebook, Google, open the borders, turn Texas blue, and then set up re-education camps to brainwash PC manners, Cancel gender, and teach us that ideas and words must be amended because all the new Democrat voters from around the world are very sensitive.
      Oh yea, just because I once identified with Barbera Streisand, doesn’t make me a singer, actress-meat-head. Boys identifying as girls in girl’s sports is MADNESS!

  4. I do not intend to incite anyone. I just want to add some perspective to this emotional issue:

    The federal government’s size, scope, and power has grown dramatically over the past several decades.

    Here are a few top lines from our report*:
    1. There are more non-Defense federal employees with firearms (200,000+) than there are U.S. Marines (186,000).
    2. The EPA gun locker includes 867,000 rounds of ammunition, 600 guns, and they just spent $61,650 purchasing “body armor systems” for 137 special agents.
    3. The Inspector General at Health and Human Services (HHS) owns 1,300 guns including one shotgun, five submachine guns, and 189 automatic firearms.
    Then, there’s the IRS, with its 2,159 “Special Agents.” They spent $21.3 million on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment between fiscal years 2006 and 2019 and stockpiled 4,500 guns and five million rounds of ammunition.

    After grabbing legal power, federal bureaucrats continued to amass firepower.

    * Source: Openthe books.com

  5. The truth of the matter on any gun control is it is unconstitutional,and I never hear that mentioned in any of these debates!! Our legislators I am sure mean well,but they expect us to play by their rules,and they need to listen to the voice of the people and the Constitution !! It is clearly stated,and at this time 2021 some want to take guns away for the sole purpose of controlling people,or socialism!!

    • Senator Baruth is not being very logical here.

      On the one hand, he feels threatened by the people he’s looking to disenfranchise. This implies that he feels that they would break the law and assault or murder him.

      Then he wants to create a new law that says that they can’t carry near him… which implies that he thinks that they’ll OBEY THE LAW. His new law, that is, and not the ones on the books forever against assault and murder.

      Which is it, Senator Baruth? Are all gun owners untrustworthy potential murderers, or are we lawabiding citizens who haven’t ever hurt you, even though we have reason to hate your policies? The fact that we fight you verbally, within the law, should be giving you the answer.

      The fact that you are “uncomfortable” seeing all the people protesting YOUR proposed laws should give you a huge hint that We the People do NOT want your constant efforts to disarm the populace.

      • Senator Baruth is like most Liberals. It doesn’t matter how many laws there already are regarding any issue, one more is always needed, and with Senator Baruth that is especially true in regards firearms.

    • ALL GUN CONTROL UNDER THE CONSTITUTION IS ILLEGAL! Government does not give us our rights. Our rights are not given to us by the Constitution. Our rights are given to us by God and are inherent to us as human beings and by the Laws of Nature. These rights that we are born with are affirmed to us by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments of the Constitution and specify what the government can and cannot do to us as citizens of the United States. Government’s only power is the power which is enumerated to it by the Constitution. The federal government, a state, county or town can not pass a law contrary to the Constitution. Article 6 the Supremacy Clause makes the Constitution the supreme law of the land. Under our Constitution the government is not delegated the authority to legislate, enforce, or adjudicate laws pertaining to the exercise of our rights under the Constitution – Period. The government is not delegated the authority by our Constitution to require government permission to exercise any right affirmed to us under the Constitution. The government is not delegated the authority by our Constitution to compel us to waive our guaranteed 4th Amendment right to be secure from unwarranted interrogation, search, or seizure in the absence of probable cause of criminal conduct. Or compel us to waive our guaranteed 5th Amendment right to due process as a precondition to being allowed (or denied) the exercise of our right to keep and bear arms. This violation of our 4th and 5th Amendment rights happens every time we are interrogated when we fill out BATFE form 4473 without probable cause that a crime has been committed under penalty of perjury to purchase a firearm. The government is not delegated the authority by our Constitution to compel us to waive our 10th Amendment right to a federal government exercising only those powers delegated to it by the United States Constitution, and State governments are prohibited the exercise of any power prohibited to the States by the United States Constitution.
      The government is not delegated the authority under the 14th Amendment to make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States. Government is not delegated by our Constitution the authority to license firearm dealers or operate or fund the most powerful anti-rights government agency on the planet called the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Since no Amendment in the Bill of Rights has been repealed thru Article V or by a National Convention of States, the only legal way to change the Constitution, all existing gun control laws presently violate five Amendments of the Bill of Rights and goes against two Supreme Court decisions, Heller vs the District of Columbia 2008 and McDonald vs Chicago 2010. Both decisions affirm that the peoples right to keep and bear arms is an individual right and that citizens are allowed firearms in common use, those small arms or those that operate like them and are issued to our National Guard which comprised of citizen soldiers.

      The purpose of compelled background checks as a precondition to allowing or denying the transfer of a firearm is to deceive firearm owners and prospective owners into unknowingly waiving their rights guaranteed by the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 10th and 14th Amendments so they will have no rights left to claim when the government decides to register and confiscate our firearms. We have a right to keep and bear arms, not a privilege to keep and bear arms. Our rights are beyond the reach of government and no citizen has to ask government permission to exercise a right. Government has no authority delegated to it by the Constitution to deceive its citizens into waiving their rights or acquiescing to the loss of their rights by subterfuge, scam, fraud, or force. DO NOT VOLUNTARILY GIVE UP YOUR RIGHTS !

  6. Why are they such cowards that they want to disarm the Citizens?

    Why are they such cowards that they disable comments on the videos where they debate doing so?

    Why are they such cowards that they insist on having armed security for THEMSELVES, but would deny that RIGHT to the Citizens?

  7. Jeanette White scoffed… I’m shocked… NOT.

    Definition of scoffing (present participle) is to speak to someone or about something in a scornfully derisive or mocking way.

    It’s well past time for White to retire.

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