Mayors Note Past and Current VMC Support for Universal Background Checks and Other Measures to Protect All Vermonters
On February 23, Vermont mayors issued statements welcoming Governor Scott’s and legislators’ support of commonsense gun reforms. Since 2013, the Vermont Mayors Coalition has supported a number of proposed commonsense gun reforms to ensure the safety of all Vermonters. These reforms have included:
- urging state lawmakers to require universal background checks for all gun sales
- calling for notification of Vermont law enforcement agencies when a prohibited person attempts to purchase a firearm.
- supporting Burlington’s right to take the steps the City felt were necessary to protect public safety
- enacting a State law prohibiting a felon from possessing a firearm so that such an offense may be prosecuted under State law in addition to federal law.
The VMC urges Montpelier leaders to consider all of these anew as part of their new consideration of gun reforms.
The mayors offered the following statements noting their appreciation for the governor and legislators’ leadership on this issue:
Montpelier Mayor John Hollar: “We can’t continue to ignore the reality that the easy availability of firearms puts our children at risk. We are not meeting our obligations as adults and leaders to keep them safe. I applaud the Governor and legislative leaders for having the courage to consider sensible legislation to make our schools and communities safer.”
St. Albans Mayor Liz Gamache: “Our children are making it abundantly clear – our inability to move beyond the status quo is not acceptable. We must be open to moving beyond partisan positions and corporate interests to have the difficult conversations that will lead to effective policy changes that will keep our schools and communities safer.”
Barre Mayor Thom Lauzon: “As a long-time supporter of universal background checks, I am hopeful that we can pass commonsense legislation that respects law-abiding gun owners, but restricts access for those who should not own or possess a weapon due to a violent past or a mental health issue.”
Winooski Mayor Seth Leonard: “It is time to ignore the slippery slope argument on the most basic and sensible policies regarding background checks, shared information between agencies, and commonsense prohibition in clear-cut cases where the threat to public safety is evident. We need to take immediate action in Vermont to ensure our laws strike a better balance between protecting individual freedoms and supporting policies that address concerns in an extremely sensible way.”
Newport Mayor Paul Monette: “With yet another senseless school massacre in Parkland, Florida, we must enact commonsense gun laws which will keep firearms out of the hands of mentally ill people. We must enact universal background checks, improve reporting among states, and most importantly, improve school security. It is sad that it takes a tragedy to once again have discussions on this controversial topic, but maybe this time, with our youth speaking up, change will occur and we can all work together for a solution.”
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger: “Yesterday’s announcements represented a breakthrough after years of stalemate. This progress is a testament to the power of the many young Vermonters who made their voices heard loud and clear in recent days, and to the willingness of our State leaders to listen and to act. I welcome and appreciate the new support for commonsense gun reforms announced today by the Governor and Democratic leaders. I look forward to working with them to implement these and other measures to ensure the safety of our children, and all Vermonters.”