Last night, at the eleventh hour, Gov. Scott vetoed a bill that would have provided a 24-hour waiting period for handgun sales in Vermont.
In doing this, he disregarded the will of the legislature, the expert advice of his own Department of Health, and the will of 80% of Vermonters.*
Senator Tim Ashe, President of the Senate, said it best:
"The Governor’s veto letter suggests we need to look to long-term strategies to rebuild our mental health system, or to address childhood poverty, or to tackle our addiction crisis. These strategies have scarcely registered in the Governor’s proposed budgets each year, and in any event will do little to nothing to prevent gun deaths in 2019 or 2020. Now was and is the time to act on reasonable gun safety legislation."
Waiting periods work. With the number of handgun deaths in Vermont on the rise, this veto was a mistake that flies in the face of everything we know about public health and safety.
We will not stop fighting for a strong waiting period bill. We stand with survivors, including those devastated by the loss of a loved one to suicide. We stand with Rob and Alyssa Black who fought tirelessly for this bill so that no one else will have to endure the kind of loss that they suffered when their son, Andrew, killed himself with a gun that he purchased just hours previously.