By Guy Page
H230, a bill requiring guns be secured in locked storage or with a locking device while in the owner’s home, was scheduled to be discussed on the House floor today, shortly after today’s edition of Vermont Daily Chronicle was published.
H230, “implementing measures to reduce suicide,” was approved by both the House Human Services (7-4) and Judiciary (7-3) committees. Critics of the bill say Section 3)a)1 of H230 expressly violates the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court Heller decision because it requires gun to be stored “in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other device.”
Heller, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, said the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock [editor’s italics] makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.”
H230 critics and advocates for the Second Amendment say they strongly support responsible gun storage – but not a state mandate, due to its unconstitutionality.
If the House decides to defer to Supreme Court precedent, it won’t be the first time this session.
A Senate gun control bill, S.4, earlier this session was amended to remove an assault weapon ban after Second Amendment advocates convinced Judiciary Chair Richard Sears that recent Supreme Court precedent would likely result in a successful court challenge.
The more activist House Judiciary Committee declined to act on similar advice warning of a high court challenge to the home storage provisions. .
If approved by the House today, H230 will return to the House floor tomorrow for third and final reading. If approved by the House, H230 will likely pass through the Senate Judiciary Committee