A group of Vermont politicians is setting the stage to push anew for legislation that would mandate universal background checks on gun purchases.
They’re planning to rally August 4 on the steps of the Statehouse, said Senate Majority Leader Phil Baruth (D-Chittenden). He said that if he’s reelected this fall, he will introduce a bill next year to require universal background checks.
Democratic candidates for governor — Sue Minter, Matt Dunne and Peter Galbraith — have said they’ll attend, Baruth said. So have the three candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor: Sen. David Zuckerman (P/D-Chittenden), Rep. Kesha Ram (D-Burlington) and House Speaker Shap Smith (D-Morristown), according to Baruth.
The rally is an indication that the debate over gun control — long considered off-limits in hunting-friendly Vermont — is shifting after a run of mass shootings across the country. Any legislation will likely face heavy opposition, however, and the issue is likely to come up in this year’s elections.
File: Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
Sen. Phil Baruth
Last year, gun control advocates dropped plans to seek universal background checks after running into opposition.