Vermont’s Republican Governor Allows Ban on ‘Ghost Guns’ to Become Law

Vermont’s Republican Governor Phil Scott has allowed a ban on “ghost guns” to become law without his signature.

The bill, S.209, prohibits Vermont residents from possessing “unserialized firearms,” such as those created with 3D printers or kits purchased online.

According to a report from VT Digger, “The legislation does not prohibit home-built guns, but it does require that a Vermonter with an unserialized gun take it to a licensed firearms dealer, who can then conduct a proper background check and inscribe a serial number onto the weapon. It also establishes higher penalties for anyone who commits a crime while in possession of an unserialized firearm.”

While allowing the bill to become law on Tuesday, Governor Scott wrote a letter to legislatures saying he was allowing it to become law because, “As a public safety measure, I agree firearms should be serialized.”

Gov. Scott’s letter concluded, “Again, while my concerns on the practical impacts and enforceability keep me from signing this bill, I’m allowing it to go into law because I understand the fears behind access to untraceable firearms and respect the effort to tailor the scope and exceptions to limit impact for law abiding citizens.”

“To allow a bill to go into law without a signature is a middle-ground approach available to the governor — in between striking it down with a veto and endorsing it with a signature” VT Digger noted. “Scott holds the record for issuing the most gubernatorial vetoes in state history: 46.”

The bill was strongly opposed by Second Amendment defending organizations, including the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs.

Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs President Chris Bradley told VT Digger that the group would let its current lawsuits challenging Vermont’s ban on high-capacity magazines and the state’s waiting period laws play out in court before challenging other “unconstitutional laws.”

“It is shameful that Vermonters have to sue to obtain rights which should have never been infringed upon in the first place,” Bradley wrote, “and it is sad that Vermonters are paying the (attorney general) to defend these unconstitutional infringements, and then have to repay our legal fees when, not if, we win.”

Vermont is now the 14th state to impose regulations on “ghost guns.”


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