State Sen. Dick Sears says he's open to gun law conversations following Maine shooting
The mass shooting in Maine this week hit close to home for many Vermont lawmakers. The deadly incident will spur a conversation about Vermont’s gun laws during the upcoming legislative session.
At a meeting of the Joint Legislative Justice Oversight Committee on Thursday, Bennington County Sen. Dick Sears opened the hearing with a moment of silence for the victims in Lewiston, Maine.
“For me the idea that it can’t happen here is pretty foreign when it happens over in Lewiston, Maine, a town very similar to many Vermont communities, so I think a moment of silence is in order," Sears says.
Sears says he’s open to a conversation about a ban on semiautomatic rifles. But he says he’s not convinced a state-level prohibition would improve gun safety, unless surrounding states do the same.
"Unless there’s a ban in New Hampshire, unless there’s a ban in New York, wherever in the surrounding areas, it doesn’t do much,” Sears says.
In an interview with Vermont Public on Friday, Sears said he wants to look at expanding the state’s red flag law. He says he also wants to ban the sale of so-called ghost guns, which are untraceable firearms that people can buy or build without a background check.
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