People weren't happy when Vermont Gov. Phil Scott signed sweeping gun control legislation, something he previously said the state didn't need.
When Scott announced the signing ceremony for his gun control legislation, he invited others to join him:
On Wednesday, I’ll be signing three bills focused on reducing violence & improving gun safety. Please join me at the State House at 2:00pm for this bill signing. #vtpoli
— Governor Phil Scott (@GovPhilScott) April 9, 2018
While some at the signing ceremony thanked him, Scott probably didn't expect to hear shouts of “traitor” from people annoyed with his position.
But that's exactly what happened on Wednesday:
“You suck!” one person could be heard saying followed by chants of “traitor, traitor...” Another person shouted, “You lied to me Phil!” The new legislation included age restrictions on gun purchases, magazine capacity limits, and expanded background checks.
As the Washington Free Beacon noted, Scott told Vermont Public Radio in 2016 that he didn't believe the state needed new gun restrictions “at this time.” He went on to say that even with the “horrific acts” of violence — likely a reference to mass shootings — the state didn't need new gun laws:
“I think we should enforce the ones we have. I think we should focus more on safety and gun education, but also addressing the violence problem that is systemic across the country — and I don't have the answers for that, but that's what's driving this frustration, this outrage. And it's alarming, the horrific acts are alarming. But from my standpoint, I don't believe we need to change our gun laws in Vermont. [A background check requirement on private gun sales] is not something I would support.”
In his signing statement, however, Scott said he was “wrong.”
“I believed, since we were such a small, tightknit state,” he said, “that we were different and somewhat insulated from the violence the rest of the world was seeing. But I was wrong. And that's not always easy to admit.”
When he said public safety was a responsibility he took “very seriously as governor,” one man yelled, “Unlike following the Constitution.”
The legislation came amid a broader national debate about gun control, prominently championed by survivors of the Parkland, Florida, shooting in February.
Vermont was just one of many states to consider new restrictions after that shooting, and earlier this month, an Illinois town went so far as to ban certain weapons and fine people who refused to turn them in to authorities.