GOP Governor Lets Gun Rule Pass Without Signature

GOP Governor Lets Gun Rule Pass Without Signature

( – Enthusiasts can assemble ghost guns with kits or pieces they purchase separately. Some people even build them using 3D-printed components. However, these controversial weapons don’t include serial numbers, making them difficult, if not impossible, to trace if someone uses them in a crime. Multiple pieces of legislation have targeted ghost guns, and now, one GOP governor has let a gun rule pass without his signature.

Several Vermont state Senators sponsored S.209, the bill in question, including Richard Sears Jr., Philip Baruth, and Brian Campion, all Democrats. The rule passed both the state House and Senate before traveling to Governor Phil Scott’s (R) desk. While Scott did not sign the law, he did not veto it either. He released a statement after it passed into law.

Scott expressed his belief that guns should have serial numbers as a public safety measure, but he remained unconvinced that S.209 would have “any measurable impact on violent crime.” He said lawmakers “should instead focus on measures that will reverse” the trend of increasing violence. The law sets the possible penalties for someone caught with a ghost gun, particularly if they commit a violent crime, as a $5,000 maximum fine, five years in prison, or both. It also prohibits people from bringing guns to polling places.

Vermont exhibits a unique political dichotomy. The state is politically liberal but supports an extensive hunting and gun culture, per AP. With the passing of this law, it became the 14th state to regulate ghost guns. The National Rifle Association (NRA) condemned the bill and released a statement last month saying the legislation “will only impact law-abiding citizens because criminals will ignore this law.”

Federal authorities also continue to debate unserialized weapons. In April, the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal about whether to allow the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to regulate them.

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