By Guy Page
A bill critics say infringes on the right to buy and carry firearms has been approved by a House committee and now goes to the full House for a vote.
S30 prohibits carrying guns in hospitals, extends the background check waiting period to up to 30 days, and allows health care providers to tell police their patient is planning to buy a gun.
S30 has already been approved by the Senate. Yesterday was approved by the Vermont House Judiciary Committee and now goes to the full House of Representatives. It is on today’s Notice Calendar of the Vermont House Journal, meaning it could come up for a full House vote as soon as tomorrow. If approved in the House, it will be returned to the Senate for review of bill changes made in the House.
One of these House changes proposed by Rep. William Notte (D-Rutland) – requiring firearms dealers to wait up to 30 days for a federal background check before providing a gun to a buyer – was criticized by the National Rifle Association yesterday.
“Expanding the default proceed time frame on NICS-delayed checks from 3 days to 30 days is arbitrary and unnecessary. There has been no justification offered as to why the delay should be expanded tenfold,” Darin Goens, State Director for the NRA-ILA, wrote in a Jan. 25 letter entered into committee testimony. “These individuals, at this point, are not prohibited persons, and they are being denied a constitutional right.”
Goens warned that S30 “is the very definition of a proverbial solution in search of a problem,” noting that “there is no evidence that arbitrary boundaries enhance public safety or that there is currently a problem with respect to Vermont hospitals” and that existing trespass laws provide hospital security and police all the tools they need to keep unwanted gun-toters off the premises.
Another House change in S30 gives all ‘health care providers’ new powers to alert police about a perceived danger to public safety if a patient is in the process of buying a gun.
Legislative Council lawyer Erik Fitzpatrick defined “Health care provider” as “a person, partnership, corporation, facility, or institution, licensed or certified or authorized by law to provide professional health care service in this State to an individual during that individual’s medical care, treatment, or confinement.”
Previous Vermont Daily Chronicle coverage of S30, including critique by Vermont pro-Second Amendment groups: