Another Baruth bill imposes more firearms restrictions

Sen. Phil Baruth, sponsor and co-sponsor of new firearms restriction bills

By Guy Page

A bill introduced Tuesday by Sen. Phil Baruth (D-Chittenden) would impose new restrictions on possession of firearms. It follows a juvenile gun control bill co-sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Baruth Friday, Jan. 6.

S11 would:

  • Prohibit the possession of firearms by persons subject to final relief from abuse and stalking orders.
  • Expand the list of criminal offenses with respect to which conviction prohibits a person from possessing a firearms.
  • Require a 72-hour waiting period for most firearms transfers.

S11 is the second gun control bill introduced in the Senate, which is now led by Baruth, long the Legislature’s strongest advocate of firearms restrictions. He also co-sponsored S4, which focuses mostly on restricting gun access for juveniles. 

Under S11, possessing firearms while under relief from abuse or stalking orders would carry a prison sentence of up to one year or a $1000 fine. 

Current state law prohibits gun ownership to people convicted of violent crimes. Baruth’s bill would add to that list of gun possession-banning offenses:

  • Domestic terrorism
  • Carrying a dangerous or deadly weapon with the intent to injure multiple persons
  • Possessing a firearm or a dangerous or deadly weapon on school property with the intent to injure another person
  • Violent crime with explosives
  • Possession or use of weapons of mass destruction or hoax weapons 
  • Threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Failing to wait 72 hours to transfer a firearm following a background check would carry a sentence of up to one year, or a fine of up to $500.

S4, whose lead sponsor is Judiciary Chair Sen. Richard Sears (D-Bennington), also addresses organized drug and human trafficking crime. For example, it would try in criminal court all persons age 14-21 “charged with human trafficking, trafficking a regulated drug, or carrying a dangerous weapon while committing a felony.” It also would “prohibit a dwelling or building owner from knowingly or recklessly permitting the premises to be used for human trafficking, selling or dispensing a regulated drug, or carrying a dangerous weapon while committing a felony.” And it would provide grant funding to communities suffering from high rates of youth violence.

The bill’s gun control measures, however, are detailed and precise, prohibiting:

  • possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number;
  • straw purchases of firearms;
  • possession of firearms by fugitives from justice;
  • possession of semiautomatic assault weapons by persons under 21 years of age.

The bill also would make juvenile case records and files available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System for purposes of conducting a background check when a person under 21 years of age purchases a firearm.

Both S11 and S4 have been referred to the Judiciary Committee, of which Baruth is a member. It is highly likely these bills will proceed for further committee review. 

Last June, Baruth told VDC to expect “meaningful gun safety legislation” in the new year.

Categories: Gunrights, Legislation

44 replies »

  1. None of the rational in this bill sounds particularly unreasonable, however:

    1.) The dems FAIL to recognize that CRIMINALS do NOT obey laws, therefore, their restrictions will do NOTHING to stem the rapidly rising degree of violent crime in VT – only arrest, proper, law-abiding prosecution, & imprisonment will do that.
    2.) True Vermonters know that these rather benign gun bills are merely being introduced to ease citizens into their true attempts to usher in legislation – (as NYS has done & is now fighting in court) – which undermine Vermonter’s rights to carry firearms – which has been every Vermonters’ Constitutional right since our inception.
    3.) True radicalized legislators will also never recognize nor admit the blatant truth that until woke policies such as forced migration & “diversity”, defunding the police, “equity”, and the rest of these insane & inane policies were ever introduced that VT had virtually no gun violence or murders despite our permit-less right to carry gun laws.

    None is so blind as he who will not see!!!!!!!!!

    • What’s rational about a 72-hour waiting period to transfer a gun if the person buying the gun is under threat of violence from another person. And what’s rational about a 72-hour waiting period to transfer a gun if the person buying the gun already owns guns.

      • …72 hr. waiting period? Considering all the unwanted pregnancies that require termination (as now guaranteed in our constitution) could we impose a 72 hr. waiting period before exercising our “reproductive freedom”?

    • Every word in this bill is repugnant to the Vermont Constitution.
      Chapter 1 Article 16:
      That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State–and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.
      Nowhere in this article is a limit placed on age, waiting periods, nor type of firearm. In fact, The Vermont Constitution requires of sen. baruth and every other legislator to specifically uphold the requirements of the Vermont Constitution. baruth is in violation of his oath or affirmation of office.
      Should one somehow erroneously interpret The Vermont Constitution on this matter, the US Constitution is equally concise and clear:
      Amendment 2 paraphrased:The right keep and bear arms Shall Not be infringed.

  2. It appears that the bottom line for this kind of thing is that if we can nibble away at the liberty around firearms/ammunition we will have fewer “bad things” happen. Right? This is the “self evident” truth behind the continuing barrage of “guns bad” law/ regulations. With this logic we could eliminate hands to reduce shoplifting…penises to reduce sexual misconduct…breathing to reduce carbon in the atmosphere? Their line of thinking is just not convincing. Converting them is not promising. Resistance looks like our option.

    • We had the OPTION of voting this clown out in the last election, but the sheeple of Chittenden County apparently like losing precious rights, (except for the right to kill the unborn).

  3. Please define what a “semi automatic assault weapon” is… my sense is that its like that old Supreme Court justice who said when asked to define pornography… “I’m not sure but I know it when I see it”

    • Semi Automatic weapons are just that semi. Every round (bullet) you shoot you must pull the trigger.
      [Automatic weapons were banned to be sold to the public in the 1930’s. The only people who have access to automatic weapons are the: military, designated government agencies who who deal in high profile terrorist activity, and certain (not all) departments in some larger police departments]
      Case in point, the most popular gun highlighted as being an assault rifle, that is NOT is the AR-15. The prefix AR does not stand for assault rifle. AR was designated (an acronym of the company name) by the company who first designed the the gun back in the 50’s. The external grips and appearance looks more like a military gun, but that doesn’t mean the function of this gun has changed.

  4. What audacity, Senator Baruth. You want to deny the Second Amendment rights of abusers and stalkers. This is just so un-American.

  5. All well meaning, problem being those who work outside the law, care not, those law abiding citizens are not made any safer. Chicago has the most restrictive gun laws in the country and one of the highest murder rates, go figure?

  6. You’re darn right I’m against a 72 hour waiting period ! And anybody who has a restraining order against anybody else realizes that paper restraining orders are walked through by dirt bags every day. Does anybody other than gun control guru, Phil Baruth, and “Gun Nonsense Vermont” think that a person who has a restraining order issued against a threat to their life, should not be able to protect their life ? There is also the issue of “response time” where it takes X amount of time for law enforcement to respond after being called. Unless you live right in a town which has it’s own police force, (and fewer and fewer Vt. towns do!) you could be waiting for a long time before the first Trooper or Deputy arrives. If you can not handle the situation yourself, you could be the headline on the 6 o’clock news.

    • Not really a stretch… those UVM girls were on the phone pleading with a defunded police force to come save their lives. They were too late.

  7. Crime is up in Vermont because of our communist policies and ideologies and our theft of Vermont’s citizens’ wealth, what are we to do?

    I know let’s take away more of their rights and make it look like we care and did something!

    • Interesting to note that the top states for murder per capita are Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. Their communist administrations must just be delighted at how many of their citizens get offed in a year. In more detail, the Godless Marxist, commies in Louisiana happen to have a murder rate 7 times that of Vermont.

      Ergo, 7 times more communist, right Brian?

      • I don’t know I’ve never been to those states (well I drove through SC), but it might just be more commies.

        I just know in this state policies like defund the police (marxist/commie policy), Sarah George catch and release programs (marxist/commie policy), Larger more intrusive government (marxist/commie policy), more state handouts (marxist/commie policy), and places to “safely” do your drugs (marxist/commie policy) are causing crime to go rampant and people are getting hurt.

        The states response is to increase the ability of the police force to monitor and track citizens ( thereby infringing on more of our rights all while increasing taxes exponentially. Simultaneously our largest city wants every other town/city to give them more money to fund more of the commie/marxist policies that have caused all of this to begin with.

        So yeah Commies.

      • Here’s another “interesting to note”, albeit discomforting for leftists like you, fact is that out of the 15 cities with the highest murder rate, only one of them, the 15th, has Republican leadership – Tulsa, OK. Every single other one has leftwing Demoract Party leadership: Memphis, Detroit, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Kansas City, Louisville, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Columbus, Minneapolis, Albuquerque, Houston, Dallas, Nashville, and then, finally, Tulsa (
        I’d also hazard a guess that in those seven Southern states you list as so scary and violent, all the murders are happening in certain well-defined political/demographic zones.

      • At least as interesting (to me anyways) is that the safest states year after year for decades are the states with the least restrictive gun laws, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont . Go figure huh ?

  8. Reading this makes me believe even more that the legislature should only meet every other year. Too much time to fill, too many people who want to think up more rules that the target of those rules will ignore.

    • agreed!! And they certainly don’t need to be in session so long to do THE PEOPLES business. Right now they are doing their own business….yes that kind. 😉

    • “…meet every other year” , to consider legislation. On the off years lets have them meet for “reevaluate & repeal” sessions.

  9. I like musical instruments, tools, and guns. They are art to me. I have enough to outfit a few bands, a woodshop class, or a platoon. Background checks, waiting periods, FFL forms, magazine capacity limits, reclassification of whatever they think an “assault weapon” is are all meaningless as I ALREADY possess a small arsenal.

    I have some common-sense gun law for you: Can people get a license that acknowledges when they’re already as much of a threat as they can possibly be, so we are exempt from all this theater? These nanny laws serve no purpose except to piss me off, which I’m inclined to believe is actually the intended purpose, since we know for a fact that they make no one safer.

  10. We.need to teach gun safety in schools, have competitions, open carry and concealed carry, make America safe again.
    The only fix for a bad guy with a gun is a giid guy with a gun. Don’t ever forget that.
    Send Buruth back to Israel.

    • Sen. Baruth engages in personal attacks on the basic freedoms of law-abiding Vermonters like it is a bodily function. He is fair game to any and all personal attacks.
      The best personal attack that could be levied on him would have been to throw him out of office last November. We voted for his horsepoop.

  11. I like the idea of keeping guns from “”Domestic Terrorists.”” By the Patriot Act, that would include every member of BLM that was in a riot. And they are mostly democrats and commies who think they are democrats.

    Lets also include people in the news media that complain about real Americans wanting freedom from communists.

  12. The 2nd Amendment does not grant us the right to keep and bear arms. The 2nd Amendment denies the government the authority to infringe upon our right to keep and bear arms -Period. THEREFORE, 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. The government is not delegated the authority by our Constitution to require the government’s 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 that we are interrogated under penalty of perjury without probable cause that a crime has been committed when we fill out B.A.T.F.E form 4473 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 the settled law of two Supreme Court decisions, Heller vs the District of Columbia 2008 and McDonald vs Chicago 2010. Both decisions affirm that the people’s 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 comprises 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 the 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 Am Jur 2d, Sec 177 late 2d, Sec 256:
    The general misconception is that any statute passed by legislators bearing the appearance of law constitutes the law of the land. The US. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and any statute, to be valid, must be In agreement. It is impossible for both the Constitution and a law violating it to be valid; one must prevail. This is succinctly stated as follows:
    The General rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of it’s enactment and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. An unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed. Such a statute leaves the question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute not been enacted. Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principles follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, and justifies no acts performed under it..… A void act cannot be legally consistent with a valid one. An unconstitutional law cannot operate to supersede any existing valid law. Indeed, insofar as a statute runs counter to the fundamental law of the lend, it is superseded thereby. No one Is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it. The Supreme Court’s decision is as follows; “An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it has never been passed”. Norton vs Shelby County 1886 – 118 US 425 p.442.

    Alexander Hamilton explains unconstitutional law in Federalist No.76; “No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid”.

    • Bravo! Here, here! I’ve been saying this for years, but you’ve explained it much more eloquently than I ever could. Make all the laws you want, do all your mandates and executive orders, I don’t care. I routinely and often disregard them for the reasons you’ve explained. I prefer to answer to actual higher authority, the US Constitution and The Creator

  13. Asked for comment, Sen Baruth replied that he never had anything to do with writing or sponsoring this bill. He blamed all the attention he’s getting on his pencil, which, of its own volition, wrote things different than what he intended.

    He went on that what he intended to say was that he supports the US and Vermont Constitutions to the fullest and recognizes that, on a clear day, you can actually see Vermont from utopian Chittenden County.

  14. I wonder if Baby Ruth keeps a copy of the Constitution in the garage, next to his Corvette ?

  15. Kind of makes a person wonder why all those hunters, sportsmen and gun owners in Vermont vote for the Dims? Article 16 of the Vermont Constitution says, “That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State–and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power”.

    The 2nd Amendment US Constitution says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Article 22 of the Vermont Constitution says, ““That an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course and shall not be denied or infringed unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means.”

    Note the language in Article 22, “shall not be denied or infringed”.
    Seems our legislators understand the meaning of “shall not be infringed” when it involves their ideology and they ignore the US constitution that says exactly the same thing. These people can not be trusted with our freedom. Look how long it is taking to prosecute the only Vermont case of violating the magazine capacity law. It’s in it’s second year and since the charges were brought, the supreme court has changed what the courts can consider related to the historical facts surrounding the 2nd Amendment. Magazine laws are unconstitutional as is banning 18 year olds from being banned from enjoying rights guaranteed to them. Other proposals by the delusional senator are already illegal. If your wish to be ruled by these people you will forfeit your freedom. All of these laws will be overturned by the supreme court.

    • We all noted the language and hypocrisy of Article 22. The Commiecrats don’t care.

  16. I love the way those who oppose all reasonable gun regulations appeal to the Constitution. If you advocate for a literal interpretation of the Constitution, then “arms” would refer to a musket which could be fired twice a minute by an expert.

    Anyone who believes that the framers would support the amendment as written, given the carnage that it has caused over the years, are living in a fantasy world.

    • I here Vtgravedigger calling you! The constitution is not to be left or right. A liberal interpretation gave us the Roe vs Wade debacle where you can find nothing proclaiming abortion as a right. And if your thinking is correct we should ban all modern communication since the founders had no idea of the internet, modern printing, TV, etc. before they wrote the 1st Amendment. Your brainwashing is showing!

    • We don’t appeal to the constitution. We follow the Constitution because it is the law of the land.
      “I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So, help me God.”

  17. D missed the point of my comment. I do not support a literal interpretation of the Constitution. I believe it was a marvelous but flawed document when written.
    Amendments over the years have helped to make it appropriate for the times. Likewise, the Second Amendment needs to be interpreted given the advancement of technology..

    • John,
      What you’re not understanding is that it has nothing to do with technology. If the technology exists it will be used for good and for evil no matter what the technology is. To take it away from those who want to do good in the world handicaps them and gives a large advantage to those who want to do evil. This is precisely why you see places like Chicago with the most restrictive laws have the highest amount of gun violence.

      It’s never been about the tools used it’s always been about having the equality of tools in use to defend yourself. This is why it’s often referred to as a God Given right, as it is your right as a living organism to defend yourself and your way of life. This is why the 2nd amendment uses the word arms instead of guns, because arms means weapons not just guns even if it is most often referring to guns (for now).

  18. Re: “Amendments over the years have helped to make it appropriate for the times.”

    Like the Bill of Rights… Amendments 1 thru 10?

    And then we have the 18th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, for example … the only amendment to have secured ratification and later been repealed.

    In the Vermont Constitution, we now have the Right to Personal Reproductive Autonomy Amendment – – “…prohibiting government infringement unless justified by a compelling state interest.”

    Autonomy – unless justified by a compelling state interest. Yep, that’s appropriate. ‘War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Ignorance Is Strength.’ Orwell, 1984

    There’s nothing in either the U. S. Constitution or the Vermont Constitution guaranteeing that ‘we the people’ will always choose our personal destiny wisely…. which is why we have the Bill of Rights protecting our individual liberty to avoid the inappropriate choices of others that they may attempt to impose on us.

    If John wants to forego his right to ‘keep and bear arms’ (be they muskets or semi-automatic rifles, pistols, flame throwers or grenade launchers), he has that right. But what John is forgetting is that he doesn’t have the right to impose his sentiments on anyone else without their consent. Especially when neither John, nor anyone else for that matter, can personally guaranty that he, or anyone he may charge with the task, can eliminate the individual need to defend ourselves under every circumstance.

    John’s logic is best described as follows.

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive… those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.” – – C. S. Lewis


    “Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm; but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” – – T. S. Eliot

    John: I wish you the best of luck as you see your way through this life as you so choose to do so. And I sincerely hope you will allow me the same courtesy. That we have the right to coexist in this way demonstrates the profound elegance of the Constitution that governs our Republic. It is ‘appropriate’ indeed.

  19. thank you, phil baruth, for your courage!!! someone needs to take action to stop this madness!!!!