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Vermont governor allows 72-hour waiting period gun bill to become law without signature

By The Associated Press - | Jun 4, 2023

Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott speaks at his weekly press conference, Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Montpelier, Vt. Scott announced by email earlier in the day that he's running for reelection to his fourth two-year term. (AP Photo/Lisa Rathke)

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Republican Gov. Phil Scott of Vermont has allowed a bill that requires a 72-hour waiting period for the purchase of guns to become law without his signature, saying he feels his concerns about the provision’s constitutionality will be addressed through the courts.

The Legislature passed the bill in May. In addition to the waiting period, it includes provisions aimed at reducing suicides and community violence.

“Given the relatively new legal landscape we find ourselves in following recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, I have significant concerns about the provision’s constitutionality,” Scott said in a letter to state lawmakers on Thursday.

“My struggle with the overall bill lies in the fact that I, and all legislators, took an oath to ‘not do any act or thing injurious to the constitution.’ However, this matter is currently being taken up through constitutional legal tests across the country and will be decided in federal court,” he wrote.

Scott said he’d allow the bill to become law without his signature and “await the judicial branch to decide the fate of waiting periods.”

The legislation also creates a crime of negligent firearms storage and expands the state’s extreme risk protection orders so that a state’s attorney, the attorney general’s office or a family or household member may ask a court to prohibit a person from purchasing, possessing or receiving a dangerous weapon.


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