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Vermont Lawmakers Pass Lifesaving Legislation to Prohibit Ghost Guns With Bipartisan Support Through Both Chambers; Vermont Chapter of Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond 

May 7, 2024

MONTPELIER, VT – The Vermont chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement applauding Vermont lawmakers for passing S.209 with bipartisan support through both chambers of the legislature yesterday. S. 209 is a lifesaving measure that will help cut off the flow of unserialized, untraceable “ghost guns” into Vermont and will also prohibit firearms at polling places, which is critical to ensuring that all Vermont voters are able to cast their ballots free from armed intimidation on election day. This bill will soon go to Governor Scott’s desk.

“With this victory, Vermont is one step closer to joining the 13 other states who have taken action against one of the biggest threats to our safety: untraceable ghost guns,” said Pat Byrd, a volunteer with the Vermont chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We can all agree that if you can’t pass a background check, you shouldn’t have access to a deadly firearm – which is why this bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. We’re grateful to Chairs Sears and Lalonde and all our other leaders in the House and Senate who contributed to this victory, and we urge Governor Scott to sign it into law once it goes to his desk.” 

“The passage of this bill is a demonstration of what we can accomplish to keep our communities safe when lawmakers from both sides of the aisle come together and listen to the demands of their constituents,” said Jenna Hirschman, a volunteer with the Essex High School Students Demand Action chapter. “Just last month, we were in the statehouse advocating for this lifesaving prohibition and after yesterday, it’s even closer to becoming law. We’re grateful to our lawmakers for prioritizing this critical measure to make Vermont safer from gun violence. It’s time to make this law.”

S.209 is a critical piece of legislation to regulate ghost guns, one of the fastest-growing gun safety problems facing the United States right now. Ghost guns are unserialized, do-it-yourself, homemade guns, often assembled from readily available components or using 3-D printing technology. Because these firearms are untraceable and all their core components can be acquired without a background check, they are particularly attractive to  criminals, gun traffickers, and others legally prohibited from buying firearms. Without serial numbers, these firearms often deprive law enforcement officers of a vital means of solving gun crimes. 

Ahead of the 2024 elections, S.209 also includes a lifesaving provision to protect voters from intimidation at the polls by prohibiting firearms from polling locations. 

In an average year, 77 people die and 65 are wounded by guns in Vermont. Gun violence costs Vermont $953.3 million each year, of which $8.7 million is paid by taxpayers. More information on gun violence in Vermont can be found here.

To speak with an expert or volunteer about this bill or gun violence prevention efforts in Vermont, please contact [email protected]

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