By Guy Page
At his press conference today, Gov. Phil Scott signalled he may veto S30, which criminalizes carrying guns on hospital property and extends the background check waiting period to up to 30 days.
An amended version of the bill passed by the Senate was passed by the House Friday, January 28. The roll call vote mustered 97 yes votes, three short of the 100 necessary to override a veto. It is unclear whether House leaders could find seven more votes – especially because two yes votes, Reps. Peter Fagan (Rutland) and Scott Beck (St. Johnsbury) are Republican and would face considerable pressure to sustain the Republican governor’s veto.
Gov. Scott was asked by Vermont Daily Chronicle: “Critics of S30 say making hospitals gun-free zones actually makes it more vulnerable to a mass-killing shooter because he knows no-one there will be legally carrying firearms. Now that it’s passed both the House and the Senate, what do you think about a possible veto?”
Scott replied: “I believe we need to make sure we continue to evolve with the existing laws we have…. rather than go and make new laws,” Scott said. “I don’t believe we need to change any of our gun laws at this time.”
Scott said he would read and consider the reconciled version of S30 when it reaches his desk, but “at this point in time I have not been in favor of changing any gun laws.”