BURLINGTON, Vt. From WCAX, this is "You can Quote Me".
>> Good morning, everyone.
I'm Darren Perron.
A police officer is injured.
We learned a homeless man's wrap sheet is a dangerous sign of a broken system.
The Chittenden county state's attorney is to talk about it.
The call for gun control in the U.S.
We have a panel on both sides of the issue.
That's where we begin this morning.
The gunman in the Las Vegas massacre may have rigged his guns with devices that enable a shooter to fire bullets rapidly like automatic fire.
Twelve bump fire stocks were found on firearms recovered from Stephen Paddock's hotel room.
>> I was ill.
It made me physically ill to think wet interacted with him.
>> Darren: General manager stole Stephen Paddock a rifle the same day Paddock checked in to the Mandalay bay hotel Sullivan says Paddock had been a customer of guns and guitars for about a year, and in that time, the shop sold him five firearms.
>> This morning over coffee I was having a moment saying I may have very well been the last person to shake hands.
>> Darren: Paddock fired into a Las Vegas fire a week ago in what sounded like automatic rounds.
The ATF said Paddock had dozens of guns in the hotel room and 12 of them had bump fire stocks.
Pump fire stocks allow squeezed triggers to slide back and forth more quickly, simulating automatic fire.
>> But these bump stocks are a work around that allow people to take a gun that's perfectly legal and turn them into something equivalent to a machine gun.
>> Darren: UCLA law professor said it could have regulation of bump fire stocks.
They are legal now and can be purchased online or from a manufacturer, but Vermont senators Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy are passing a bill.
Chuck Schumer also co responsible erred the bill.
In addition to the band on bump stock there are renewed calls for total gun control legislation.
Democratic lawmakers stood on the steps of Capitol Hill calling on Republican colleagues to pass measures to prevent another massacre.
Gun violence survivor Gabrielle Giffords, says it takes courage to take on the gun lobby.
>> I have seen courage when my life was on the line.
Now is the time to come together, be responsible.
>> He was a thief, he stole lives and futures, and whether our members say nothing, we are prayful and respectful but it's no substitution for action.
>> Darren: Many Republicans say now is not the time to talk about gun control with the investigation into the Las Vegas shooting underway.
President Trump echoed that and condemned the mass shooting but declined to discuss gun control measures, despite the bill allowed by Sanders, Leahy and others.
The White House did say that the president does welcome Congress taking a look at bump stocks and that the administration would like to be a part of the discussion eventually once they learn more.
In a rare move, even the NRA now says it's worth looking at whether there should be more regulations them.
We are talking gun control this morning with my guest Vermont senator fill Baruth, former state representative Linda Waite Simpson, along with Ed Cutler and Bob Depino, gun owners of Vermont.
I think the first question to ask here is this the right time for us to be talking about gun control legislation so close to the tragedy?
>> Darren: Why is that?
>> If you listen to the national Republican party, they will say it's too early to be talking because it's disrespectful for the victims.
I don't think it's ever too early to talk about how the 59 people could have remained alive.
That's my view.
>> I agree we should talk about it.
There's a mass shooting almost every single day.
If not now, then when?
>> You have a different perspective.
>> First off I would like to say our hearts and prayers go out to all the victims of this terrible tragedy.
I'm in disagreement because we don't know all the facts yet.
You know, everything I have read on it with these bump fires or anything else, this is the first time that this product has ever been used in any kind of criminal thing they are not machine guns, they are actually, in my opinion pretty stupid, but at the same time, I love single shot rifles.
When Congress passed the original semiautomatic ban, the very next thing that was brought up there was bulk action scope rifles because they could be used as a sniper.
We are talking about grandpa's hunting guns here, and another part about it is the bump fire stocks are extremely inaccurate, and there are probably hundreds of those, nobody knows, out there, and they are manufactured on a regular basis, and with all of those things out there, again, this is the only time this has been used.
>> Darren: Is this the time to be talking about this?
What do you think?
>> I would say no.
It does appear every time there is some shooting somewhere, it's time to talk about guns, not the person who did the crime.
>> Darren: Linda Waite Simpson you lost your seat in the house for supporting gun regulation back in 2013.
Was Vermont not ready to talk about new rules?
Is Vermont ready to talk about new rules now?
>> I did lose, but I lost for a variety of reasons.
I originally got involved in the gun issue my second year out of six years in the legislature.
I got involved because we had a tragic incident happen with a young man in our district who killed himself on the tennis courts, and he should not have had a gun, and it was the gun that he ended up with had been stored irresponsibly right next to a bag of bullets, and he was a distraught young man who then took his life.
When the family came to the legislators and said we need to do something about this, what they had been told was the fine for allowing a minor to have access to a handgun was between ten and $15 in the state.
A 50 dollar fine to these people who should have stored the handgun properly.
I got involved early on in the legislative years, and I continued on advocacy from protecting our children from responsible stories of firearms throughout my entire time.
But NEWTOUN was a game changer for me.
I stepped and I did other things in there that I was very open about, and this is negotiable, and when you introduce a bill, it never comes out the same on the other side.
But I felt like we needed to do something as a state to protect our citizens from irresponsible gun owners.
>> Darren: I want to read something, they had they said it may too early to discuss control.
The Vermont federation of sportsman clothes have long held laws and fully comply with the state constitution, and the gun control legislation that has been introduced in the Vermont legislature in 2017 has not met these important standards, and the federation cannot responsibly render a position on any legislation that has not been introduced and did say any devices that make them more fully automatic should be subject to some kind of regulation, but senator Baruth, is will other gun restriction laws or bills be put in place this coming legislative session?
>> I have a bill in the legislature right now in the judiciary committee mandating universal background checks, and in February of 2016, they did a poll and showed that 82% of the gun owners that they surveyed supported it.
There is consensus on gun safety legislation.
The other side of this issue will not admit to that, but on our own somehow we have as a state reached an agreement on one key portion of this, and the idea is we already mandate background checks if you buy a weapon new, and you go to a federally licensed dealer, and you have to have a background check.
It's constitutional, and it's current practice, and it's the law of the land, and what we are saying is you shouldn't be able to take that new weapon, go home, go online, and sell it to somebody without a background check.
That doesn't make any sense, and it's clearly not unconstitutional to ban that.
>> Darren: Let me jump in.
Paddock passed a background check.
>> I will go to the point about is this the timement there are three arguments used again and again and again and you and I will be talking about this six months from now when a person kills 100 people.
The arguments from the other side, they have notes not now, not in Vermont and not a perfect solution.
So you can't talk about it after a massacre, because somehow it's disrespectful and can't talk about it in Vermont because we are a perfect state and you can't talk about it because whatever you are talking about is isn't a perfect solution that will stop every crime.
Universal background checks for new guns, they have stopped millions of people from getting guns that shouldn't have them if we apply the same thing to the Internet, you will stop a percentage, and that's worth doing now.
>> I would like to respond to that.
The poll from our research was pretty bogus.
Right now on channel five, they are having a poll asking if bump stocks should be outlawed.
As of noon today, 74% of the people who voted in that poll said no.
Two days ago the same poll, it's a daily poll they are doing, 94% said no new gun control.
This is a straight Vermont poll.
>> But it's an online.
We would have to check the numbers.
>> A year ago Vermont public radio national had a poll, 114,000 responses.
Out of that 92% of them said no new gun control.
The castleton poll was 600 something people.
This was a whole series of questions.
The bottom of the question part they ask what was the most important to you?
What was it three%?
>> There were actually a couple one of them specifically on gun control.
One is a general what is your biggest concern for Vermont?
Gun never made the list.
The castleton poll, did an analysis and did it.
On Vermont.org, the way they targeted recipients of that poll, they were eliminating a good percentage of the gun owners in the state.
To Linda's response, the storage that was a terrible incident where a firearm was stole than from the owner.
The owner was a police officer so this revolver was stolen, and the bill you proposed led an exemption for law enforcement officers.
>> Can I correct the record?
I just don't want you to go further.
That's not true.
That's not what happened.
This was the teenage son of a deceased police officer.
It was his mother who had stored these this way.
It was not stolen.
I mean, if that is important.
>> The universal background check, would it have stopped this?
>> This is my point.
It would be like if we said we are only going to clean up with a lake that could come up with a single bill that's a single solution to every lake that has phosphorous going into it.
If it's a big systemic problem, when you talk about people going to a concert or nightclub or school and getting shot ten, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 people, that's epidemic size, you can't have one bill that addresses it.
We will need many bills, many states and at the federal level, too.
>> We have a solution for something like that, and as bad as this sounds, 99.9% of those mass shootings are being done in gun free zones.
In the schools we have been advocating for years to have arms and trained school personnel where if something happens, at least there's somebody there instantly to stop it.
With a gun free zone, the place that happened out in Florida, California, all those places, each the latest tragedy, the hotel was a gun free zone, the concert was a gun free zone.
Yes, people can get into gun free zones, because they don't pay attention to signs.
Anybody that's going to do bad is going to do bad.
The best way to stop them is to have somebody there to do it.
This week's incident, I doubt anything could have happened but the other 99.9% would have been possibly effective rather than even if there's a 50% chance, it's still better than no chance.
>> I think if you look at another gun that loves their guns as much as we do, very, very high rate of high gun ownership.
But they have a highly regulated marketplace.
You cannot transfer your gun in that country without attesting to the good character of the person you are transferring the gun to.
We don't do that here.
I think if you look at the carnage we are the only developed country that has the level of gun violence.
It's remarkable, it's almost twice that of Switzerland even though they have as many guns as we do per capita.
When you start saying more guns is really the solution to this problem, I would like to see some data that shows that that's true.
We have forbidden the CDC from looking at the epidemic of gun violence, and they have been forbidden from talking about it, from studying it, and unless we have a heart and say let's really dig into this, let's look at the data, and let's find common sense solutions so that we can prevent this kind of carnage, we are never going to get anywhere.
>> Darren: This debate could go on, and we said before we started this could go on all day.
I want to ask this question: Is there any way to have some sort of compromise on gun control in Vermont?
Very quick answers?
>> I don't personal think so.
>> Vermont is the safest state in the done.
We have for 230 years responsibly and honestly had firearms.
We have the lowest incidents of firearm crimes.
We have the lowest murder rate.
>> Darren: You don't think so?
>> I don't think so.
>> I think all of our constitutional rights are rights that should be regulated and we accept that the second amendment is not exempt from that.
>> I think we have found middle ground, and the universal background check in the judiciary committee represents that, and the reason I say that is because the public polling is pretty much of a piece with the exception Eddie was talking about online polls, and those are driven by the people that have the most enthusiastic and they contact the friends to vote a lot, and it's not a scientific poll.
It shows Vermonters have found a sensible middle ground.
Linda and I are not antigun.
So what I would say is we are quietly here in Vermont getting to that place, but it will take ultimately hard votes in the senate and people worry about being returned to office.
There's still a long way to go.
>> Darren: A police officer attacked and he had dozens of arrests, so why was he out of jail?
We will let you know.
>> Darren: Welcome back, everyone.
I think it's time to see what's coming up on the weekend news.
>> In a few moments we will be talking about the tragedy that happened at the community at Harwood union high school just about a year ago, tomorrow marking the one year anniversary of one of the most tragic events to happen in the state's history, and we will talk about how the community is coping with the loss one year later.
Folks are singing the praising of a brand new music center.
We will take you to the music cutting ceremony, and October is national chili month.
Plus will this wet weather last through the week?
Dave will have your forecast.
We will see you in a few minutes.
>> Darren: Thank you, Scott.
What needs to be done to keep the community safe from repeat offenders?
>> Darren: A violent altercation ends with a cop getting cut.
Local leaders are calling on the state to see who can be held in jail and the mental health system.
>> He's a threat to the community and in particular to the law enforcement officers.
>> Darren: It's not the first time the state and police said that about 41 year old Jason bro.
The homeless man accused of using a cop with a knife.
Police worried something like this would happen.
>> It's really unsettling to know what future potential outcomes could be.
>> Darren: That was deputy chief Shawn Burke talking about after BRO threatened strangers, including kids with a knife.
He was arrested at gunpoint in Burlington in August, just one of 29 times he's been charged since December of last year.
>> These are serious crimes that need to be met with real consequences.
>> Burlington's mayor and police chief argued that repeat offenders like BR need to be held in jail.
Bro was out on conditions from the previous arrest when the police officer was injured.
They were trying to take him into custody after he yelled and waved a large knife.
He allegedly pointed out a second knife during Saturday's scuffle and cut the officer's hand.
>> When you are dealing with somebody with 29 charges, there comes a point you have to say enough is enough.
>> Darren: Chittenden county's state's attorney agrees.
Prosecutors need to prove someone accused of a nonviolent crime is likely to flee if released and they can't just get them locked up.
>> That's just not the law.
We have to show they are at risk of flight, not a risk of picking up a new charge, because if that was the case he would have been held a long time on bail.
>> Darren: The chief, the state's attorney says mental healthcare may be the biggest problem here getting those who need it into treatment and to stay in treatment to keep the community safe.
>> I think the mental healthcare system is failing a lot of people in Vermont.
>> Darren: Bro pleaded not guilty and because of the violent nature of this alleged crime he was held without bail this time.
Should he have been held before.
Chittenden county attorney joins me now.
>> Thanks for having me.
>> Darren: You said the mental health system is failing.
How is it failing?
>> I think there are too many people that are being dealt with through the criminal justice system that really should be going through the mental health system, and when they are not getting the services that they need through the mental health system, they are picking up charges and therefore being dealt with, which is not the appropriate placement for them.
>> Darren: A lot of folks we heard from saying why aren't they doing their jobs there.
>> It's not that simple and it's not the Vermont law.
If people are upset about that, they should be talking about legislature.
Right now the Vermont statue only allows judges to impose bail on people that are at risk of flight.
A their local residence, they live here, and they have ties here, and they are not a risk of flight under any circumstance, and therefore the courts are not allowed by law to impose bail on them.
>> Should lawmakers take that up?
>> It's something that needs to be discussed at great length because I think we do often in Vermont we certainly don't want more people in jail than we need.
I'm a strong advocate of that, and there are people that are at risk to our community, and they need to be dealt with in a different way.
>> Darren: We have seen a number of high profile cases and even on church street.
In March a homeless man allegedly killed another homeless man.
At the pedestrian mall, a victim stabbed to death.
If these issues aren't addressed by lawmakers, are we going to see more of this?
>> I think we are.
We almost have to wait until there's a violent felony that occurs, because then we have another way of holding them.
Which is what happened, and all of his charges up to that point were not felonies, and if they were violent they were misdemeanors, so they didn't apply.
I think we are going to continue to see a rise.
>> Thank you so much.
Really appreciate your time.
>> Thank you so much for having me.
>> Darren: Thank you for watching.
The news continues next right here on channel three.
With Captioning Provided by Caption Associates, LLC www.captionassociates.com
YCQM: October 8, 2017
BURLINGTON, Vt. From WCAX, this is "You can Quote Me".