Davis: Firearms purchase waiting period in H230 must go

by Eric Davis

The Senate Judiciary Committee will be taking more testimony on H.230 this week. If you’re not familiar, H.230 is a bill that originated in the House Committee on Healthcare as a measure to reduce suicides in Vermont. The only problem is that it has almost nothing to do with reducing suicides and everything to do with further restricting the rights of law-abiding Vermonters to obtain and keep a firearm for personal protection.

First, the good news: After hearing extensive testimony from Gun Owners of Vermont and the Vermont Federation of Sportsman’s Clubs, the committee has signaled a willingness to work on some of the blatantly unconstitutional areas of this bill as it was passed by the House.

We are hopeful that this week we will see the mandatory lockup requirements dropped in favor of softer language that addresses negligence as a broad issue – i.e., you won’t be forced to lock up your guns in your own home but could still be held liable in the event of an incident resulting from negligence. We obviously don’t know what this wording will look like just yet, but we will keep everyone updated as more info becomes available.

The bad news is that this would still leave intact the provision for a 72-hour waiting period on all firearms transfers. Not only would this effectively kill off the gun shows in Vermont but could have deadly consequences for someone who needs to immediately obtain a firearm for personal protection. Constitutional rights are not and should not be subject to waiting periods regardless of what effects it might have on the rate of suicides in Vermont or anywhere else.

We are urging everyone to contact the members of the Senate Judiciary and politely ask them to strip the waiting period section from this bill, as it does nothing but punish good people by setting up roadblocks between them and their constitutional right to obtain a firearm.

The committee member’s emails are:

The author is President of Gun Owners of Vermont

Categories: Commentary, Gunrights

22 replies »

  1. H230, who are we kidding, The newest tourist attraction in Vermont is suicide. The legislation should make up it’s collective minds, prevent suicide it or encourage it.

  2. A good friend of mine had a son who was a student at UVM. He bought a gun and committed suicide later that day. A reputable gun dealer in Chittenden County told me of a similar situation which happened to someone who bought a gun from him.
    The scientific literature indicates that waiting periods do reduce suicides particularly in certain groups such as the aged.

    A waiting period does not deny anyone their purchasing a gun. It does, however, provide adequate time for background checks.

    Question: If carrying a gun makes you safe, why are guns not permitted inside the NRA convention?

    • Since you asked a question, I’ll ask you one. Many of us already own firearms. If I wish to buy a new one and trade in an old one, what is being accomplished except making people like you feel better? If a person wants to commit suicide on Tuesday and buys a gun then picks it up on Friday and still commits suicide 3 days later, what has the law done to stop suicide?

      Since owning a firearm is protected in the Bill of Rights why should 99% of responsible people have to forfeit their constitutional rights to stop an obviously mentally impaired person from taking their own life? Perhaps you wouldn’t mind having your free speech monitored by the government or your house searched without a search warrant or be compelled to testify against yourself in court?

      The community safety standard previously used by courts has been struck down by the Supreme court, it would be great if our legislature would stop blaming and punishing the majority of law abiding people to control the actions of the few mentally ill. This is an agenda disguised as a suicide cure as the state continues to kill the unborn and elderly with laws advocating death. This is the height of hypocrisy and so is your question.

      • Who are you addressing, which question? If it me I’ll answer your question!

      • At Founders1776, I have been to an NRA convention, have you? The convention rules are controlled by the city. In the convention arena there are hundreds of firearms on display by manufacturers. Any large venue is restricted to firearms security and that has nothing to do with the NRA they don’t make that decision. They rent the space and abide by the rules that go with it. Asking why the NRA didn’t allow firearms, loaded to be carried inside the convention hall is a stupid question to begin with and was designed to make non-thinkers assume that the NRA made the decision. Nice try, but not all of us are as gullible to believe that you could have thousands of people in the middle of a city going to a convention hall without passing through some security for the safety of such a large crowd. Again, a stupid question!

    • They do an instant background check when you buy the gun there is no other background check. So, the person who is to commit suicide has to wait 72 hours to do it or just goes and buys fentanyl on the street. Or better still goes to the Vermont Suicide Clinic. You site scientific literature, what scientific literature? The last four Trans or Non-binary shooters passed the background check.
      Colorado Springs
      All on some kind of mind altering medication?

      • I will buy that, most people are friendly and harmless until the doctors get them to take some medications ‘for their own good’.

    • Sometimes the desire to live is lost. Good friends, a good mate, a challenge, a hobby, rockhounding, gold panning, metal detecting, painting, photography, stock market(?), building, we must find our own paths to fun and pleasure. Once found, leaving this wonderful and exciting life, and it’s challenges, gets hard to let go. Life is for fun, not for anxiety and stress. Vietnam taught me not to waste precious moments over momentary negative trivialities.

  3. Just let them pass the law. SCOTUS has already determined the gun lock up, gun waiting period are all unconstitutional. Sue every Democrat in that voted yes.

  4. A “WILLINGNESS” to “…work on some of the blatantly unconstitutional areas” of the bill???? If a bill or parts thereof are unconstitutional – the bill CAN NOT be passed. It CAN NOT become law.

    Who do these lunatics & traitors believe themselves to be?? The Constitution STANDS. Vermont cannot legally pass bills into law that violate this document.

    No AMERICAN requires their “willingness” to obey the founding document of the nation.

    These people in Montpelier are in dire need of psychiatric intervention. Is Creedmoor still open?

      Supreme Court Decision – Norton v Shelby County 1886

      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.

      “All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void”.
      Marbury vs Madison, 5 US (2 Cranch) 137, 174, 176, (1803)

      Thomas Jefferson: “Whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, it’s acts are authoritative, void and of no force”.

      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”.

  5. In response to the previous comments:

    1. A 72-hour delay does not violate the Second Amendment.

    2. If the NRA feels so strongly about “packing”, why doesn’t it find a venue which permits guns inside a convention center. Just think of the risks for these NRA attendees to have to navigate the city streets without a weapon.

    3. Mental health experts, not you or me, have determined that someone in a crisis can avoid a suicidal situation given more time.

    Conclusion: All of you responders are probably responsible gun owners. So how would you suggest we handle folks who shoot someone ringing their doorbell or turn around in their driveway?

    • What about the woman who is threatened to be killed by a former spouse or boyfriend or former significant other, wants to purchase a firearm but is killed waiting the 72 hours. The 72 hour waiting period is an “infringement” on our 2nd Amendment rights. Why? Because the 2nd Amendment does not grant us that right. The 2nd Amendment tell government it cannot infringe on that right.

      • Exactly this. A waiting period is effectively disarming someone who might have every legitimate reason to prepare to defend themselves. I have yet to see evidence that a determined suicidal individual won’t just wait the three days out. Very few people spontaneously suicide. They’ve been thinking about it for weeks, months or even years. The fact that a gun was used for suicide the same day it was purchased is an irrelevant red herring and an entirely emotional appeal. It’s also a disingenuous start to the leftist fairytale of magically getting rid of all guns, and as a result, ending all the bad stuff, like, forever and ever.

  6. Well John, You seem to be looking for an answer that doesn’t exist. What would you suggest or propose to stop all the people that don’t care about your laws like criminals and drug addicts or the mentally ill? Can you legislate human error, panic, anxiety, mental illness, drugs? What about those who kick your door in in the middle of the night to rape or steel?

    The NRA doesn’t support “packing a gun” and why would they search out a place to do that? I get from your tone that you don’t like the freedom of owning a firearm and you despise the NRA. The same NRA that trains the police and has safety classes for anyone wanting to enter the shooting sports world as well as hunter safety classes for children.

    When you come up with a solution to all the stupid things that people do that harms or kills innocent people, we will listen if it works. Every responsible firearms owner feels horrible when someone misuses a firearm. We don’t ban cars or trucks for drunk driving and we don’t ban swimming pools for children drowning.

    Freedom requires responsibility. There will always be those in society that ruin things for others. These legislators won’t stop suicide nor will congress until they address the reasons why so many young people want to kill themselves. When I was in high school the older kids brought rifles to school in their cars to go hunting after school. No one killed anyone. Guns have always been a part of Vermont. Unfortunately, society has changed and the moral fabric has been ripped apart. Our social leaders and education have failed. The onslaught of social media and smart phones with the internet craziness is available to young minds not mature enough to handle what they see. That’s why we have to have this conversation. My rights don’t stop where you think yours begin. There are no current solutions until we address the root problems.

  7. The Vermont Legislature wants to remove or stall your right to own a gun so you can’t kill yourself with it. Yet, the Vermont Legislature wants people to freely abort a fetus (no waiting for period for ending that life,) they happily encourage human sterilization, and will happily assist you with your suicide. Let that sink in.

    • This gives us a scary look into the mental process of those we elected, but too late.

      • They were not elected – they were selected. They are controlled, belligerent occupiers. They do not fear guns. They fear the People holding a gun (or a sword, a hammer, a pitchfork, or a wooden stake) in one hand and a crucifix in the other. If you flashed a cross in their face, they would likely melt into a puddle of sulphuric acid. Your avitar aptly displays what is coming for them.

  8. To John, sorry to hear of the person you knew who committed suicide. The three friends or family members in my personal circle of suicide ALL owned guns and chose pills or car exhaust to take their lives. Its the desperation not the device that needs addressing.

  9. I appreciate that most of the comments are presented with the good intentions of the authors. Having rad all of them, I offer the following:

    1. The individual who calls those with an oppositing opinion “lunatics” and “traitors”. She has lost all credibility. Why is she allowed to use this forum?

    2. To the person who quoted Jefferson: Thomas Jefferson also said, “Every constitution then and every law, naturally expires at the end of 19 years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force, and not of right.” If the Constitution was rewritten for the 21st century, there would be no Second Amendment.