Sports & Outdoors Statehouse

Potential 30 Day NICS Waiting Period

This morning, Thursday, February 3, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed gun control bill S.30 on a vote of 4-1-0 with Senator Joe Benning (R) Caledonia being the lone “No” vote.

The hearing may be viewed at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ylbc0VszcI

The debate in Senate Judiciary centered around the two sections added in the House. 

Section 2 of S.30 creates a potential 30 day NICS waiting period for citizens purchasing from a Vermont FFL who experience a default delay. Under the federal NICS law the FFL may complete  the transfer after three business days.

This 30 day wait could place a citizen in an endless cycle  because the NICS process requires the NICS background to be restarted after 30 days.

Section 2 “Firearms Transfers Background Checks”starts on page 2 of the bill draft you may  view on the link below:

97 percent of NICS checks are processed with the three business day period standard that was established by federal law.

Section 6, was the point of the most serious debate was over the ability to confiscate firearms by  a hearing of which the gun owner was not even aware and not able to present or have representation.  

This process would lack due process of law, which the United States Code requires in the section of  federal law.

This section of S.30 was not germane to the rest of the bill.  This section amended 15 VSA, Vermont’s  Domestic Relations law.  While the orginal S.30 and the vast majority of the rest of the bill amended 13 VSA, Vermont’s Criminal Law.

Section 6 starts on page 7.  “Emergency Relief”

S.30, the draft as taken up by the committee today: https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/BILLS/S-0030/S-0030%20House%20Proposal%20of%20Amendment%20Unofficial.pdf

The passing of S.30 in the committee was a done deal.  S.30 was already posted on the  Senate Journal for today.  S.30 is on the Senate Floor for action this afternoon, Senate Journal:

https://legislature.vermont.gov/Documents/2022/Docs/JOURNAL/sj220202.pdf

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