The beauty of being a brave little state is that we can communicate directly with our lawmakers and have interaction that people in bigger states can't! That gives us POWER in the state legislature, and the time to use that power is NOW.
Call your Representative and ask them to vote YES on S.169, AND urge that the waiting period be expanded to 3 days on ALL guns.
- Call the Sergeant-at-Arms at 802-828-2228.
- Say, "I would like to leave a message for Representative(s) __________________." Then leave a message asking them to vote YES on S.169 and to expand the waiting period to three days for all guns.
Why a reasonable waiting period for all gun sales?
- In the United States, half of all suicides are carried out with a firearm. In Vermont, that number is even higher, with guns being used 60% of the time.
- Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for young Vermonters ages 15-24.
- In Vermont, handguns are used in about 2/3 of gun suicides and long guns (rifles and shotguns) are used about 1/3 of the time. Limiting the waiting period to handguns is arbitrary and not aligned with what we know about suicide in our state. See data on all gun deaths in VT between 2011-2017 here.
- Approximately 85% of gun suicide attempts end in death. The lethality of the means matters, and guns are the most lethal means by orders of magnitude.
- Waiting periods may help prevent firearm suicides by delaying firearm acquisition.
- Research published in the American Journal of Public Health (2015) showed that states with waiting period laws had 51% fewer firearm suicides and a 27% lower overall suicide rate than states without such laws. When South Dakota repealed its 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases in 2009, overall suicides the following year increased by 7.6% (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2017).
- Waiting periods in states that have similar laws vary between 3-14 days. A minimum of 3 days is considered best practice for this policy at this time.