It is crossover week at the Statehouse in Montpelier - a time when Vermont lawmakers scramble to finish legislation so it can move to the other chamber for consideration. If a bill does not crossover it’s unlikely to survive the session. Hearings this week included the Senate Judiciary Committee going to the Vermont Technical College to take comments on a new firearms bill. It’s one of the measures that Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe is highlighting for completion this week. The Democrat/Progressive says the key provision in the bill is a waiting period for purchasing a firearm.
“The motivating factor is recognizing that Vermont has a very specific problem which isn’t unique to firearms but certainly exacerbated by it which is suicide by firearm which in Vermont we are well above national levels. In fact 90 percent of gun related deaths in the last 5 years were suicides. And so the question we’re evaluating is whether a waiting period for the purchase of a firearm would help reduce that number. So we’re taking a look at it more with a public health view than thinking about it as gun control. So that’s why we’re taking up that particular issue.”
Chittenden County Senator Tim Ashe is a Democrat/Progressive who serves as the Vermont Senate Pro Tem.