A bill discussed in House Judiciary yesterday would give police and judges the right to take away the guns of people accused of domestic abuse. Problems of constitutionality and enforcement were raised.
"Under current law, the state can issue relief-from-abuse orders in substantiated cases that separate accused abusers from their alleged victims. H.610 would add provisions to relief from abuse orders that would require defendants to temporarily surrender their firearms. Gun rights activists have voiced concerns that the legislation oversteps probable-cause requirements. "Everything about this bill is a trampling of our essential due process as gun owners and we should never tolerate that," said William Moore, the firearms policy analyst for the Vermont Traditions Coalition. Moore said evidence gathered in investigations for relief-from-abuse orders meets a lower standard than what is required to confiscate firearms.
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