Vt. governor signs new gun restrictions

Associated Press


Vermont on Wednesday raised the age to buy firearms, banned high-capacity magazines and made it easier to take guns from people who pose a threat – the first significant gun ownership restrictions in state history, signed into law by the Republican governor.

It’s a remarkable turnaround for the largely rural state that traditionally has refused to impose restrictions on gun ownership.

Standing on the Statehouse steps before a noisy crowd of hundreds gun-rights activists and supporters, Gov. Phil Scott signed the bills into law. Supporters shouted “thank you,” while opponents, many wearing hunter orange, shouted “traitor!” and booed the governor.

“This is not the time to do what’s easy, it’s time to do what’s right,” said Scott, who continued to speak despite loud chants from the two sides.

Scott, a gun owner, had urged the Legislature to pass gun restrictions in the aftermath of what police called a narrowly averted high school shooting in Fair Haven.

Authorities said they learned a teen from Poultney was planning to kill as many people possible. He was arrested and charged Feb. 15, the day after a high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead.

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