After a long, contentious battle, the Vermont statehouse has approved Senate Bill 141, which would impose new restrictions on firearms ownership in the Green Mountain State. The bill is widely expected to be signed by Gov. Peter Shumlin.
Although the anti-gun lobby devoted more than $50,000 to the effort—compared to about $15,000 spent by the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs—it failed to win the controversial background check expansions that it fervently sought.
Instead, what it did win was largely symbolic: The law, if signed by the governor, will bar those convicted of a lengthy list of crimes from owning firearms. Such prohibitions against criminals owning firearms have already been on the books for decades under federal law. Ironically, although Vermont’s new law will duplicate many federal provisions, its penalties in many cases will be less.