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Vt. House debates gun bill

(WCAX)
Published: Mar. 22, 2018 at 11:25 AM EDT
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The Vermont House continued to debate new gun laws Friday evening.

The proposal includes significant new restrictions in a state that has some of the laxest gun laws in the country.

with provisions to raise the legal age to purchase guns to 21 and expand background checks to private sales.

The House Judiciary Committee amended the bill to include a ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and so-called bump stocks, which can turn firearms into automatic weapons.

The debate comes after a mass school shooting in Florida last month and a foiled plot in Fair Haven.

"The policies in this bill will keep firearms away from those who intend harm and reduce the lethality of firearms that may be misused," said Rep. Martin LaLonde, D-South Burlington.

"We need to figure this problem out. But going after people and their traditions and the way they are law-abiding gun owners and scaring them is not helping. And denigrating them is not helping," said Rep. Susan Buckholz, D-Hartford.

Republicans moved to divide each section of the bill, setting numerous votes throughout the day. It's still ongoing but several votes have been cast.

The House approved the underlying bill which lays out how the state will deal with guns in its possession on a 141-2 vote. It also approved the bump stock ban by a 119-25 margin. And the provision to expand background checks passed 83-61. The most controversial measure-- the magazine limit-- passed 79-66.

Still to go? A vote on raising the legal purchase age.

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