Davis: Legislature ignores gun owners

by Eric Davis

There are currently two gun bills in play in the Vermont Legislature for 2021; H.133 (firearm relinquishment for temporary RFAs) and S.30 (prohibition of firearms in hospitals.) 

Both bills have passed their respective chambers of origin and are now headed to the opposite chambers for consideration and vote.  The senate judiciary committee is scheduled to take up H.133 on Thursday of this week at 9am and GoVT is on the agenda to give testimony along with The Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, the Vermont Traditions Coalition and all the usual suspects from the domestic violence prevention groups and the State of Vermont who never met a gun bill they didn’t enthusiastically support.

We fought hard against both bills in their original committees to almost no avail and will continue to do so with what will likely amount to the same results.  The unfortunate reality is, that these bills are seen by most legislators as favorable measures of public protection, regardless of any and all reason, logic, or emotional argument to the contrary. 

If you watch the video from that hearing, I deliver my message of about 2800 words to an incomplete and disinterested committee who asked me no questions afterwards.  Upon completion of my presentation, Chair Maxine Grad (D-Moretown) simply said “OK, thanks” and proceeded to the next order of business.  It appears that every person in that group had their mind made up long before we were even invited to testify, which begs the question, if our involvement in this process is one of substance or if we are just there for show – so they can say they “took testimony from all sides.”

Senate Judiciary has historically been more deliberative than the House committee but judging from what we saw with S.30, we are not overly optimistic for a positive outcome on H.133.  No action is currently scheduled on S.30, but it is only a matter of time before they put it on the agenda, take testimony on it so they can “hear from all sides,” and subsequently pass it through committee and the House floor, hopefully without having amended it into a worse piece of legislation than it currently is.

Both bills passed the first round of floor votes with a 2/3 majority which suggests that even on the astronomically slim chance that Governor Scott actually decides to veto them, that veto could be overridden.

The sad reality is that the legislators in Vermont who “get it” – the ones who understand why it’s so important to preserve individual rights- are vastly outnumbered by legislators who don’t care and see the constitution as an impediment to social progress.  For this to change, advocates of liberty need to change their approach to the problem.

“The sad reality is that the legislators in Vermont who ‘get it’ – the ones who understand why it’s so important to preserve individual rights – are vastly outnumbered by legislators who don’t care and see the constitution as an impediment to social progress.  For this to change, advocates of liberty need to change their approach to the problem.”

  • Eric Davis, President, Gun Owners of Vermont

For years, we ignored the people in Montpelier who make our laws, in fact, the legislature in Vermont used to meet only every other year and only for a few weeks to hammer out a budget before they all went back to their real jobs – which they all had.  Slowly, it changed as the interventionists began to flood this state and get themselves elected to office; they began to tinker with our laws, passing silly bills about this and that.  Still, we did little more than scoff at them, maybe grumbling something about “those idiots in Montpelier” over coffee break before we went back to work.  Over the years the absurdity under the dome continued and evolved almost unabated as the rest of us went about our lives just wanting to be left alone until we reached that dreadful moment in 2018 when we realized that nothing was sacred to these people and that even our newly elected “pro-gun” governor would gladly sacrifice our rights to the gods of central planning.

By the time we realized we were in trouble it was too late, and we have been playing from behind ever since.  Having little to no experience solving problems with the political process, gun rights activists have been reduced to infighting over petty and irrelevant partisan issues while we watch our rights slowly slip away.  If we want to change what we get out of our government, we must start by changing what we put into it.  If we want our government to respect our sovereignty as individuals, we need to start by holding ourselves as individuals accountable to the task of keeping our elected officials on point, and that means more than standing on the sidelines yelling “shall not be infringed.”

As always, keep in contact with your reps but also be thinking about the representation in your area and what we can do to make it better.  All state Reps and Senators are up for reelection every two years; what can we do to get our people involved in running for office and helping campaign?  Are there any local elections coming up where we could make a difference?  Get involved in your community – coach a little league team, join your local fire department, go to church – whatever gets you involved with your neighbors and their families and spread our influence in a positive way.

And finally, become a dues paying member of your local gun and sportsmen’s clubs, state-level political action groups and national gun rights advocacy organizations, in that order.

All of us at GoVT want to thank each and every one of you who get involved and also give a special thanks to the courageous few legislators who have had the fortitude to stand for what is right during these difficult times.  Together we can make a difference.

Categories: Gunrights

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8 replies »

  1. Me Davis is correct when he infers that nobody has watched Montpelier. But I hear the drumbeat of hope as more people are having their rights stripped away by a few. This is what people need to understand. Vermont isn’t as liberal as the legislature. It’s just more liberal legislators run for office than conservatives. We elect a Republican Governor any time we run a good one which means we pull votes from areas that are not Republican. My advice to everyone in this State. If you want to change the course of Vermont, you can no longer wait on the sidelines until all your values traditions and rights are gone. You cannot wait for your neighbor to step up. Let that someone be you.

    • The biggest issue is that the average conservative wants to be left alone. They want a limited government and strong individual freedom. It is hard to get people whose biggest want in life is to be left alone by government to in turn join the government in order to keep it from invaded the life of others. Basically it calls for taking one for the team. The leftists live for government and believe they are the ones that can and should “help” everyone. They look at the average person as unable to survive without them so they are eager to run.

  2. Eric Davis is spot on. He does not stand alone!
    The Vermont House Judiciary Committee hows by their behavior they couldn’t care less about the propriety, legitimacy or Constitutionality of the anti gun laws they write. The disdain they show to groups defending the rights of all Vermonters to defend themselves, to protect the weak and victimized, to deter violence, and to uphold the provisions of the Vermont Constitution (Article 16) and the US Constitution to this end is appalling.

    All Vermonters must be ashamed learning of Maxine Grad’s dismissive disrespectful behavior to Eric, the Gun Owners of Vermont, the Vermont Federation of Sportsmens Clubs, and those who politely and with honest intent and upright integrity spend their valuable time researching the issues, attending the committee meetings, and working on behalf of the majority of Vermonters who believe in the rule of law and petition the legislature to be heard on behalf of thousands of others.

    Today, we abhor the bully. The one who harms, who does not restrain themselves. Who abused their power because they can. How ironic these people are writing bills which restricting self defense, restrict the ability of the law abiding to protect themselves, which create criminals of those who have no intent to cross the line and are otherwise our model citizens.

    The term used to describe these agents of the people of Vermont is representatives. Representing is an elevated duty, a great responsibility. What became of acting with grace and kindness?

  3. If the State really wants my firearms, Let them BUY the products at FULL APPRAISED market Value. BUT, I will reserve the RIGHT under the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution to PROTECT myself and Family an armament of MY choice.

  4. “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” I disagree. Criminals, private and various government security forces will also have guns. Law abiding private citizens won’t.

  5. It is obvious those legislators are being bribed by someone. I believe an investigation is in order to check their tax returns. These representatives should also be investigated at every level to determine other forms of bribery besides cash. No one in their right mind could really believe that passing laws restricting guns could possibly stop any criminal activity; for the simple reason that criminals do not care about gun restrictions! Let’s work to expose the corrupt politicians before we restrict the rights of the people!

  6. One ray of hope in 2A rights is the data indicating large numbers of women, ethnic minorities and demoKKKrats becoming first-time gun owners. DemoKKKrats always eventually eat their own and hopefully we can count on some level of support from these demographics when they realize that they have voted for politicians who seek to compromise the Constitutional rights that they have just recently availed themselves of.
    The “relinquishment” proposal is sorely lacking in due process provisions.
    We have to realize that demoKKKrats/progressives/leftists from Maxine Grad to Maxine Waters see the US and Vermont Constitutions as outdated impediments to their social advancement agenda.

  7. Excellent commentary, Eric! The Moretown Democrat who dismissed your efforts is, of course, an anti-gun snob, harboring an arrogant PC prejudice against gun-owners. Yes, many of these “interventionists” just know what is good for their hip-rustic group-think, but not for us “noble savages,” who cling to the Constitution, individual rights, and less government.
    Vermont is a microcosm of the Democrat left:open borders, Kamela Harris coloring books, championing Washington DC as a new blue state, BDS, BLM, more liberal Supreme Court appointees, Universal Basic Income, Defund The Police Call a social worker or a non-conformist, if you need help.
    Democrats want to burn The Constitution, especially the first two amendments, thereby muffling the voice of reason, Republicanism.
    In the seventies and eighties I was convinced America’s problems were caused by The Republican Party. Now, I know who is going to take this great state and our nation down, something I do not believe in any more, liberalism. Think about it, when a sitting United States President is shutdown by Facebook & Twitter social media platforms. We are in big trouble and will have to defend ourselves with voice, pen and sword…and gun.