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Vermont Senate Votes to Pass Lifesaving Legislation to Prohibit Ghost Guns; Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond 

February 28, 2024

MONTPELIER, VT – Today, 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 the Senate for voting to pass (S.209) with bipartisan support, a bill that would help cut off the flow of unserialized “ghost guns” into Vermont. 

“Nobody in Vermont should be able to get their hands on a gun without a background check, and all guns should be traceable, and the passage of today’s bill moves us one step closer to making this a reality,” said Pat Byrd, a volunteer with the Vermont chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Ghost guns are one of the fastest growing safety problems we face today, and we’re grateful to Chairman Sears and the rest of our lawmakers for stepping up to address them. We’re looking forward to advocating for this bill in the House so that it can end up on Governor Scott’s desk soon.” 

Vermont currently has no laws addressing ghost guns, which are do-it-yourself, homemade guns made from easy-to-get building blocks that can be purchased with no background check and no questions asked. They are impossible to trace, and across the country, law enforcement officers are recovering increasing numbers of homemade, unserialized guns from people who are legally prohibited from having guns. If Vermont were to pass this legislation, the state would become the 14th in the fight against these untraceable weapons that are becoming a go-to for many violent criminals.  

Today’s vote to pass S.209 comes after Vermont enacted critical legislation last year to strengthen the state’s gun safety laws, including new laws to hold people accountable if they fail to secure their gun around children or people prohibited from having guns, create a three day waiting period for gun purchases, expand Vermont’s “red flag law”, invest in community violence prevention programs, and more. As a result, the strength of Vermont’s gun laws moved up two spots in Everytown’s Gun Law Rankings for 2024, now ranking eighteenth in the country. 

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.

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