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Where Minter, Scott stand on gun control - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Where Minter, Scott stand on gun control

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

In our first Campaign Countdown piece on where Vermont's candidates for governor stand on the issues, we'll take a look at which candidate is advocating for more gun control.

Democrat Sue Minter and Republican Phil Scott have very different views on gun control. That stems from differences in what the candidates believe is the cause of violence in the state. Minter is pushing hard for universal background checks while Scott wants no new gun laws at all.

"I don't believe we need to make any changes to our gun laws. I believe the ones we have are sufficient," said Scott. 

"I want to push forward on a solution I know 89 percent of Vermonters support which is common-sense background checks," said Minter. 

Scott's platform is simple: he thinks Vermont doesn't need any new gun laws. He says he'd veto new gun laws unless they expanded funding for firearm training.

"We should enforce the ones that are on the books and we should focus on the economy," said Scott. 

He's directing his focus to taking on issues of mental illness and poverty, which he sees as the root of violence. It's an area of common ground found with Minter.

"The majority of homicides in Vermont are, in fact, domestic violence-related, and most of them are with guns," said Minter. 

Minter says she would start pushing for universal background checks and then examine an assault weapons ban and expanding federal prosecution of domestic violence gun crimes.

"It's going to be up to the Legislature if they pursue to define what is an assault weapon," said Minter.

"When people talk about assault weapons, I'd like to hear what their definition is," said Scott.

Minter says she would follow the example of the 18 states already with a background check law when deciding how Vermont would implement such a rule. 

"Sue Minter does not want to take guns away from law-abiding citizens. She simply wants to make sure that everyone that does own a gun can pass a background check," said Minter. 

"We're one of the safest states in the nation. I think they're working well for Vermont," said Scott. 

The National Rifle Association gives Scott an A rating and Minter an F.

Two different ratings for two candidates that couldn't have less in common when discussing Vermont's future gun legislation.

Gun control is the first of seven issue pieces we'll have every Wednesday to help you make an educated choice on election night. Next week we take a look at where the candidates stand on marijuana legalization. 

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