Republican Governor Allows Gun Ban Despite Concerns

( – Manufacturers emblazon every firearm they make in a factory with a serial number to identify the weapon easily. That serial number ties the weapon to the registered owner. Ghost guns, on the other hand, have no markings because individuals assemble the weapons at home using kits bought online or 3D-printed parts obtained outside the typical manufacturing system. They are virtually untraceable. But Vermont will now have a system to address that issue.

What Happened?

On May 28, Vermont Governor Phil Scott (R) allowed S209 to become law without his signature. The bill made it illegal to possess guns without a serial number. Residents are still allowed to own ghost guns, but the law now requires that they take those weapons in to get them serialized and pass a background check — also required by law in the state. If the owner of the ghost gun does not go through that step and the unserialized weapon is used in a crime, the offender will face harsher penalties.

The bill also included language making it illegal to carry firearms in polling places. Lawmakers believed that addition would make it safer for voters and poll workers on election day.

Scott allowed the bill to become law because he felt the measure represented a “public safety measure” and believed all “firearms should be serialized.” However, he wouldn’t put his signature on it because he couldn’t see the “practicality” of enforcing the law, putting the overall “impact” on crime into question.

In Vermont, the governor can veto a bill, sign it with his approval, or take a middle-of-the-road path and allow it to pass without his stamp of approval. Scott chose the latter.


Moms Demand Action, a gun control group, was elated by the decision to let the bill pass, celebrating the bipartisan move as a “lifesaving measure.” Giffords Law Center was also happy about the news, stating that the new law would help in “saving lives and protecting our democracy.”

However, not everyone was excited about the bill’s passage into law. Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs President Chris Bradley called the move “shameful,” indicating the new law infringes on the right to bear arms. However, the group leader said he wasn’t shocked by the governor’s actions. Bradley promised to challenge the law in court.

The measure immediately went into effect upon passage. Vermont joins Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Nevada, California, Oregon, and Washington in requiring the serialization of ghost guns.

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