MONTPELIER, Vt. — The Vermont chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Students Demand Action, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today applauded Senate leadership for making gun violence prevention a top priority for the 2020 legislation session. In a press conference today, Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe stated they will continue to work on gun violence prevention policies next session.
“Our state has a proud hunting culture and a history of gun ownership, and sadly, we also experience gun violence, particularly in the form of gun suicides,” said Seton McIlroy, a volunteer with the Vermont chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “We’re grateful to leadership in both Chambers for recognizing that we need common-sense solutions to keep our families and communities safe.”
“Growing up in the mass shooting generation, gun violence is always front of mind for me,” said Catherine Moring, a volunteer with Students Demand Action and a freshman at the University of Vermont. “No one should have to live in constant fear of a shooting. But seeing gun safety prioritized by our state lawmakers means there’s a chance to take action on this public health crisis.”
Nearly 90 percent of all gun deaths in an average year in Vermont were the result of firearm suicide. In general, the rate of gun deaths in Vermont increased by 44 percent between 2008 and 2017. Polling from May indicated 75 percent of Vermonters support the gun violence prevention legislation passed by Vermont lawmakers in 2018.