24-hour handgun waiting period moves forward in Vt. House

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) A 24-hour waiting period for handgun purchases is headed to the Vermont House after sitting idle for weeks.

The House Judiciary Committee voted seven to four Monday to advance the waiting period to the full House. It's part of a compromise by leading guns rights groups and those who favor more restrictions. After sitting in the committee for the last few weeks, it will be up for a House vote later this week, just days or hours before leaders hope to adjourn for the year.

Part of the agreement includes no changes, so Committee Chairwoman Rep. Maxine Grad, D-Moretown, asked members to reject any amendments. The Senate passed the bill after scaling it back from 48 hours. Grad says its a compromise that protects public health and safety as well as constitutional rights.

"The waiting period, from testimony we heard, does go a long way to suicide prevention, to prevention of domestic violence-related homicides and to gun related violence," Grad said.

"It's probably the best deal that firearms owners can get. And with that said, I'm not gonna support it," said Rep. Tom Burditt, R- Rutland.

The waiting period will be up on the House floor Wednesday. So far, Gov. Phil Scott has not indicated if he will sign it.