Guns

In the wake of the Parkland high school massacre, there's been renewed interest in "red flag" laws, which allow courts and police to temporarily remove guns from people perceived to pose a threat.

The new research offers insight into the laws' effect — and it may not be what you think.

"Although these laws tended to be enacted after mass shooting events, in practice, they tend to be enforced primarily for suicide prevention," says Aaron Kivisto, a clinical psychologist with the University of Indianapolis who studies gun violence prevention.

Jack Sawyer sits in Rutland criminal court on Wednesday, April 25.
Robert Layman / Rutland Herald / Pool

Jack Sawyer was released from prison on bail Friday morning. Sawyer is the 18-year old accused of plotting to attack Fair Haven Union High School.

Jack Sawyer sits in Rutland criminal court on Wednesday, April 25.
Robert Layman / Rutland Herald / Pool

On Wednesday morning, a judge in Rutland Criminal Court reduced Jack Sawyer’s bail from $100,000 to $10,000.

Sen. Dick Sears, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, backs bill to expand domestic terrorism law to deal with cases like the alleged incident at Fair Haven Union High School
Angela Evancie / VPR

The Vermont Senate has given unanimous approval to legislation that updates the state's domestic terrorism laws as a way to help thwart future mass shootings.

 A gun rally drew more than a thousand people to Montpelier Saturday; some came in part to pick up a free high capacity magazine that will be banned under new legislation.
John Dillon / VPR File

A constitutional challenge of Vermont’s new ban on high-capacity magazines will hinge less on the Second Amendment than on Article 16 of the Vermont Constitution.

Senate Judiciary chairman Dick Sears is looking to modify Vermont's domestic terrorism laws as a way to deal with future cases of violence
Angela Evancie / VPR File

After a Vermont Supreme Court ruling last week said Jack Sawyer could not be held without bail because his actions did not constitute "an attempt" to commit a crime, the Senate Judiciary Committee is exploring the state's domestic terrorism law as a way to charge similar crimes in the future.

Opponents and supporters of Vermont's new gun laws made thier voices heard at Gov. Scott's public signing of the bills into law.
Chip Allen / Times Argus

Gov. Phil Scott has signed three gun control measures into law, the first such rules for Vermont. We want to hear your thoughts on these laws and how you think they'll shape Vermont. 

Gov. Phil Scott signs three pieces of gun control legislation amid boos and cheers on the front steps of the statehouse Wednesday, April 11, 2018.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR

S.55, a bill that became the unexpected hot-button issue of the session so far, was signed into law Wednesday on the steps of the Vermont Statehouse.

Stowe High School student Sam Robertson holds an American flag and stands in front of a truck.
John Dillon / VPR

In just a few months, young people — some who can’t yet vote – have led the U.S. and Vermont on a dizzying pace of change around gun control legislation. Far less visible are the students who favor gun rights.

Essex Orleans Democratic senator John Rodgers speaks at the Vermont Statehouse.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Opponents of a comprehensive gun control bill are making a last-minute effort to encourage Gov. Phil Scott to veto the legislation.

The Vermont Statehouse with a cloudy sky, with people gathering in front of the building.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

Vermont lawmakers have given their unanimous approval to two additional gun control measures. Now those are headed to Gov. Phil Scott, who has previously announced support for the bills.

Speakers lined up at the Vermont Statehouse entrance at the "March for Our Lives" on March 24.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

The Vermont Senate has given final approval to a sweeping set of new gun control measures, and Gov. Phil Scott says he will sign the bill, titled S. 55. We're looking at what ended up in the wide-ranging bill. Plus, we'll also look at two more bills relating to guns, H. 422 and S. 221, that the Senate is still debating.

A Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student wears a March For Our Lives backpack
Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

A group of Randolph Union High School students is going beyond the borders of Vermont and traveling to Washington, D.C., to take part in the national "March For Our Lives" event on Saturday. 

According to campaign finance disclosures, Republican Gov. Phil Scott has raised more than twice as much money toward his 2018 reelection bid than any of the other four candidates challenging him for the office.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

In his second year in office, Gov. Phil Scott has called for limited spending and shared his change of heart on gun control laws. We're talking with the Governor about the surprises and changing priorities in Montpelier in 2018, and what he wants to accomplish in the rest of the legislative session.

Ed Wilson, in yellow, was one of nearly 200 gun rights advocates in the Statehouse cafeteria Tuesday evening. Wilson and others say proposed gun legislation in Montpelier would infringe on gun owners' rights.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

In their first show of political force in Montpelier since lawmakers began taking up new firearms legislation, about 200 gun rights advocates jammed the Statehouse cafeteria Tuesday evening to show their opposition to the bills.

Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

Students across the country and around Vermont are planning school walkouts and other protest actions Wednesday morning, March 14.

More than three weeks after a school shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead, students are demanding that Congress pass tougher gun laws, but so far U.S. lawmakers have failed to act.

In the absence of federal action, gun control advocates are urging states to take up the fight — and point to Connecticut as a successful model. After the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School more than five years ago, the state passed some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and advocates say they’re working.

Jace Laquerre, a 19-year-old freshman at the University of Vermont, told the audience at Ira Allen Chapel Thursday that, despite all the calls for gun control after Parkland, not all young people are in favor of new restrictions on gun ownership.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The public debate over gun laws arrived Thursday evening on the campus of the University of Vermont, where both supporters and opponents of new gun legislation made their views known.

The dome of the Vermont Statehouse on a cloudy day with the Vermont flag flying.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

In a move that seemed almost unthinkable at the outset of the 2018 legislative session, elected officials in Montpelier appear to be on track to make universal background checks the law before the end of the year.

We're talking with Vermont gun owners about how their use of firearms informs their views on gun laws and gun control.
artas / iStock

Conversations about firearms and gun control are often dominated by extreme views, leaving many in the middle whose voices aren't heard. That includes voices informed by their own gun ownership. We're talking with Vermont gun owners about recent shifts in the discussion around guns and our gun laws. 

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