Last Wednesday, Vermont’s Republican Governor Phil Scott signed several new gun control measures into law in one of the gun control movement’s first major wins in recent memory. While fellow Republican Governor Rick Scott signed similar legislation into law in early March following the Stoneman Douglas shooting, however, Vermont’s legislative advancement saw immediate returns the next day. That’s because authorities there were able to use one of the new laws to prevent a suspected school shooting plotter from legally owning any weapons.
According to the Associated Press, a judge signed an extreme risk protection order for 18-year-old Jack Sawyer, noting that he “poses an extreme risk of physical harm to himself and others”:
Prosecutors say Sawyer, who kept a diary called “Journal of an Active Shooter,” made detailed plans for a shooting at Fair Haven Union High School in which his goal was to kill more people than in any other school shooting. Republican Gov. Phil Scott said he changed his stance on gun restrictions after reading the affidavit in the Sawyer case.
Even so, the state’s supreme court ruled that Sawyer was eligible for bail since he “did not act on his plan and prosecutors did not have enough evidence to justify holding him without bail.” A bail hearing has yet to be scheduled, but the fact that the evidently troubled young man is due for a court-ordered release has left residents and the parents of students at Fair Haven Union High School “on edge.”