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Vermont gun bill with 72-hour waiting period becomes law without governor's signature

Brightly colored tulips in the foreground of the Vermont Statehouse
Peter Hirschfeld
Vermont Public
Spring tulips were in full bloom as the Legislature adjourned the 2023 legislative session.

Legislative leaders say they're pleased that Gov. Phil Scott will allow a gun violence prevention bill to become law.

The plan requires a 72-hour waiting period to purchase a firearm, it calls for the safe home storage of guns, and it expands the use of risk prevention orders.

Scott says he has strong concerns that the waiting period is unconstitutional, but he allowed the bill to become law without his signature because he says the issue will likely be settled in federal court.

Dive deeper withBrave Little State: 5 Vermonters talk about guns

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Baruth said the bill "may turn out to be the most impactful gun safety measure passed in the last 30 years."

Roughly 60% of all suicides in Vermont involved a firearm last year.

The requirements in the new law are set to take effect July 1.

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Bob Kinzel has been covering the Vermont Statehouse since 1981 — longer than any continuously serving member of the Legislature. With his wealth of institutional knowledge, he answers your questions on our series, "Ask Bob."