A bill that passed the Vermont House without controversy is now in doubt after gun-rights advocates exposed provisions allowing police to take guns during domestic disputes.
"It's a highly illegal confiscation bill," Gun Owners of Vermont president Ed Cutler told Vermont Watchdog.
"H.735 is a forfeiture bill that tells police if a person gets a temporary restraining order, they have to come into the house and take all weapons -- not just firearms, but all weapons."
At first glance H.735 appears to propose fee updates on mundane items -- from lottery ticket sales to license renewals. Yet tucked away in the bill are provisions for the storage of firearms confiscated during domestic disputes. Gov. Peter Shumlin requested the gun-related provisions in October.
The seemingly innocuous fees came under fire during last week's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
State Sen. Joe Benning, R-Caledonia, blasted the bill, saying Vermonters would be "deprived of their property and ... told they have to pay to get it back without ever having had a day in court." Confiscating Vermonters' property without due process violates the U.S. Constitution, he said.