It’s easy for many people to look at the northeastern United States as a hotbed of anti-gun activism. After all, two of the most anti-gun states–New York and Massachusetts–are right there and it’s not unusual to figure the smaller states surrounding them follow their lead. However, Vermont tends to go a different direction when it comes to the Second Amendment. After all, they’re a constitutional carry state, for crying out loud.
However, that doesn’t mean they don’t have folks trying to pull some shenanigans in order to upset that apple cart.
As a result, the Vermont Senate will be holding a hearing on universal background checks.
A universal background check law, now proposed in the Vermont Senate, would require private sellers of secondhand guns to run the names of purchasers through the national database.
Closing the so-called gun show loophole has long been the holy grail for gun control advocates. It has been adamantly opposed by the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, and it faces an uphill battle in the Senate, which is divided on the issue.
Despite that split, however, the Senate has agreed to hold a hearing on three gun bills from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, at the Statehouse. Prior to the hearing, the Senate Judiciary Committee will take testimony on the legislative proposals.
There are proposals in both the Senate and the House that would allow law enforcement to remove guns in the event of a violent threat. The Senate bill, S.22, proposed by Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, is designed to keep the guns from people who are “an extreme risk” to themselves or other people, and it would enable police to obtain permission from a judge to remove weapons for up to a year. The House bill, H.422, would allow law enforcement to confiscate guns immediately in domestic disputes and temporarily hold the firearms for five days.
Either bill could be a vehicle for the universal background check measure.
While universal background checks are something gun control zealots have been working toward for a while, there’s little evidence they do anything other than interfere with law-abiding citizens. Criminals are still able to get their hands on guns without any problem whatsoever. I mean, it’s like criminals don’t obey the law.
Further, universal background checks laws are ridiculously easy to bypass unless there’s a gun registration scheme in place. This isn’t a new argument, and at least one Democrat in Vermont tries to address it.
“That’s what to me gives the lie to the argument that this is unconstitutional,” [Sen. Phil] Baruth said. “The other thing is they say it can’t work, but obviously it does work. Millions of guns have been kept out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.
“And the last thing is that they say it can’t work without a permanent registry, but of course, again, the new gun background check system works without a registry,” he continued. “Those arguments on their face are obviously wrong, but they persist because people don’t want to have a logical discussion.”
Actually, they don’t work. I’ve linked to a post on the study up above that shows how generally pointless they are. That said, let’s talk a bit about why folks like me say universal background checks won’t work without a registry.
While Baruth can say his bill works without a registry, anyone with half a brain knows that what you put down on paper in the form of a bill and what actually happens aren’t necessarily the same. Prohibition was supposed to stop people from drinking, for example. How did that work?
Saying the bill works without registration is an easy statement to make, but it’s also bull.
If I have a gun in Vermont, and it’s not registered, but I sell it to my buddy in a face-to-face sale, how is the state supposed to know that? Even if he’s found with that gun, how does anyone know I didn’t sell that to him prior to the law going into effect? You don’t.
While many will follow even the dumbest laws, those who are inclined to break the law simply won’t. If someone wants to arm their buddy the felon, they’ll still sell him a gun without going through the background check. No one will know.
Without a registration, the state of Vermont won’t know who owns what when the law takes effect. That means people can continue to sell and trade firearms without background checks and the state will be oblivious. They simply won’t have the information to know otherwise.
And that, I think, is the point. I think people like Baruth know this. I think they know it and are counting on it so they can push through registration which really is the Holy Grail for gun grabbers.
The upside in all this is that it looks like a tough fight to try and push this into law, which means there’s a good chance it’ll never come to pass. If you’re in Vermont, call your state senator and let them know where you stand. If you’re outside of Vermont, start looking at who you can donate to in order to help fund this fight.
Not one more inch, folks. Not one more inch.