Vermont’s Republican governor allows ghost gun bill to become law without his signature

May 29, 2024, 6:50 AM

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, has allowed a bill to become law that requires serial numbers on firearms that are privately made with individual parts, kits or 3D printers.

Scott allowed the bill, part of an effort to crack down on hard-to-trace ghost guns that are increasingly showing up in crimes, to become law without his signature. He said in a letter to lawmakers Tuesday that while he agrees that firearms should be serialized as a public safety measure, he has concerns about the law’s “practicality and impact.”

“Over the last decade, as anti-policing policies increased and criminal accountability has steadily decreased, violent crime has grown in Vermont,” Scott wrote. “This is why I believe we should instead focus on measures that will reverse these trends over those, like S.209, that are unlikely to have any measurable impact on violent crime.”

Supporters of the measure in the Democratic-controlled Legislature have said it’s critical for Vermont to keep the weapons out of the hands of people who aren’t allowed to have firearms. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed last month to take up a Biden administration appeal over the regulation of the difficult-to-trace ghost guns.

The law in Vermont, a politically liberal state that also has a strong gun and hunting culture, includes penalties ranging from fines to prison time depending on the offense. A person who carries a firearm that lacks a serial number while committing a violent crime would face up to five years in prison, a maximum fine of $5,000, or both.

Chris Bradley, president of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, said last month that the legislation is a tax on law-abiding gun owners who would have to get a gun serialized and undergo a background check.

The measure also prohibits guns at polling places. The secretary of state’s office, in consultation with the Vermont League of Cities and Towns and the Vermont Municipal Clerks and Treasurers Association, also is required to report to the Legislature by Jan. 15 on options for prohibiting firearms in municipal and state buildings, including the Statehouse, which some Republicans fear would lead to further gun restrictions.

Vermont is the 14th state to regulate ghost guns, according to Vermont chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action.

United States News

Associated Press

New Mexico heavy rain and flash flooding prompt mandatory evacuations in Las Vegas

Heavy rain and flash flood warnings in New Mexico prompted officials to order mandatory evacuations for parts of Las Vegas with shelters set up for displaced residents. The National Weather Service office announced a flash flood emergency on Friday night through early Saturday. The impacted areas included Las Vegas and communities near Albuquerque. Up to […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Parts of Washington state parental rights law criticized as a ‘forced outing’ placed on hold

SEATTLE (AP) — A judge has paused parts of a new Washington state parental rights law derided by critics as a “forced outing” measure. King County Superior Court Judge Michael Scott on Friday paused portions of the law while a lawsuit brought by civil liberties groups and others is pending, The Seattle Times reported. The […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Ex-CEO of Nevada-based health care company Ontrak convicted of $12.5 million insider trading scheme

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The former CEO and chairman of Ontrak, a publicly traded health care company based in Nevada, was found guilty Friday of a multimillion-dollar insider trading scheme. A federal jury in Los Angeles convicted Terren Scott Peizer, a resident of Puerto Rico and Santa Monica, California, of one count of securities fraud […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Lockheed Martin subsidiaries reach $70 million settlement for claims they overcharged Navy for parts

STRATFORD, Conn. (AP) — Two Lockheed Martin subsidiaries have agreed to pay the federal government $70 million for overcharging the Navy for aircraft parts, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday. The federal agency says Sikorsky Support Services, based in Stratford, Connecticut, and Derco Aerospace, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, knowingly entered into an improper subcontract […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Man accused in killing and kidnappings in Louisiana waives extradition

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A man arrested in the slaying of a Louisiana woman and abduction of her two daughters and subsequent death of one of them waived extradition Friday in federal court in Mississippi, clearing the way for his return to Louisiana to face trial. During his court appearance in Jackson, Daniel Callihan, 36, […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

88-year-old Montana man who was getaway driver in bank robberies sentenced to 2 years in prison

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — An 88-year-old Montana man has been sentenced to two years in a federal prison medical facility for being the getaway driver in two bank robberies in Billings last summer, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Montana said. The man was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty in February to two counts of bank […]

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Vermont’s Republican governor allows ghost gun bill to become law without his signature