Gov. Scott sticks to his guns on gun control

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Gov. Phil Scott is sticking to his guns on gun control. Thursday, he reiterated his support for new efforts in Montpelier. The governor wants Vermont State Police to do a school safety assessment by the end of the month and come back with suggestions. He also says he's had to defend his position on gun legislation.

Gov. Phil Scott

"Priority one for me is school safety," said Scott, R-Vermont.

The governor says that's what he wants lawmakers to focus on when they come back from break Tuesday.

"I would advocate, after what they went through in Florida, if you put yourselves in the shoes of those in Florida who lost loved ones, their classmates, that maybe some inconvenience on our part is a price to pay," Scott said.

Right now, the House and Senate will be hashing out the differences in their Extreme Risk bills, which allow police to confiscate guns from someone if a judge rules them a danger to themselves or others. That effort has the backing of three gun rights groups.

But more contentious are bills calling for stricter background checks and raising the age for firearms purchases to 21. Those already passed the Senate and the House believes it has enough votes to push those through.

These are gun regulations the governor says he's open to after an alleged school shooting plot was foiled at Fair Haven Union High School. The governor says he has faced opposition from people he knows for that change in position, one he says he did not make lightly.

"It is not easy to face my friends and supporters when they feel betrayed," Scott said. "But I have to do what I think is best for the state and keeping our kids safe."

The governor also says schools will have access to $5 million in school safety grants.