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Vermont Senate Committee Approves Bill To Allow Police To Take Guns Away in Some Situations

The “extreme risk protection order” bill would allow law enforcement officers to ask a judge for an order to take away someone’s guns for up to 60 days if police determine the person is an “extreme risk” to himself or others.

The Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved Senate Bill 221 on Friday, in the wake of the mass-shooting at a high school in Florida and an apparent near-miss in Fair Haven, Vermont. It now goes to the full Senate.

The bill’s sponsor, state Senator Dick Sears Jr. (D-Bennington), told the committee he was much less confident about the bill’s prospects in gun-friendly Vermont before the events of last week.

“Quite frankly I thought it was gonna be one of those difficult bills to ever get passed here,” Sears said, according to Seven Days, a Vermont newspaper.

Gun-rights advocates in Vermont are more concerned about another measure, House Bill 422, which would allow cops to seize guns in domestic violence situations without a court order.

Governor Phil Scott, a Republican, had previously opposed new gun laws, but the events of last week seem to have changed his thinking. He has pledged support for both bills.

The governor also now wants background checks for all gun sales and a ban on bump-fire stocks, according to Seven Days.

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