Scott Says 'He Fully Intends To Sign' Legislature's Gun Control Bill

Mar 30, 2018

Moments after the Senate passed the gun control bill, Gov. Phil Scott met with a group of reporters in the lobby of his office in the Pavilion Office Building.

When the session began in January, Scott was not supporting the measures that are part of this legislation.

But Scott says he changed his mind after receiving reports that a former student at Fair Haven Union High School was allegedly planning a mass shooting at the school.

Scott received that information a day after the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. The Governor says these two events completely changed his stance on the gun issue.

"I've made a commitment that I wanted to do everything we can in order to provide our citizens with the safety they deserve." — Gov. Phil Scott

Scott says he "fully intends to sign the bill" when it reaches his desk.

"I've made a commitment that I wanted to do everything we can in order to provide our citizens with the safety they deserve,” said Scott. “So at this point in time, I've made a commitment to follow through on that." 

Scott acknowledges that many Vermonters are very upset with his new position on gun control. But he says he hopes that opponents will recognize the importance of passing this bill.

"What's being passed at this point in time doesn't intrude upon the Second Amendment, it doesn't take away their guns and I believe that we will get accustomed to the new normal which is trying to address this underlying violence that we're seeing across the nation," said Scott.

When the Senate originally passed its gun bill, it contained two provisions; raising the age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21 and an expanded background check system.

The House then added a ban on high capacity magazines and a prohibition on the use of bump stocks.

"I think it's an important step forward in preventing gun violence." — House Speaker Mitzi Johnson

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says she's very pleased that the Senate adopted the House's approach to this issue.

"I think it's an important step forward in preventing gun violence. I think it's important for people to know that we have done everything in this bill to maintain Vermont's culture of hunting and gun ownership,” said Johnson.  

Scott says his legal team will review the gun bill as it would any piece of legislation that's sent to the governor.

Scott could sign the bill as early as next week.