Shumlin Says Gun Control Must Be A 50-State Solution

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The school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, last month has focused attention on the question of guns: who has access to them, and whether certain guns should be harder to purchase.

Governor Peter Shumlin says Vermont should not enact stronger gun laws on its own. He says gun laws should be set nationally, not state-by-state.

"So I feel strongly that what we need is a 50-state solution. We’re not an island on this question," Shumlin says. "Because this is an area where if states have different laws, you’re going to have different outcomes."

Shumlin was speaking Friday on VPR’s Vermont Edition. He said he has faith in Vice President Joe Biden, who is expected to make recommendations next week to revise federal gun laws.

Mass shootings have become prolific, Shumlin says, because of factors other than gun laws:

"It isn’t as simple as putting a particular gun lock on, or banning a particular weapon or banning a particular magazine. It’s more about looking at what we have become. Our approach to violence, our approach to mental health treatment, our glorification of violence."

Shumlin would not take a stance on whether those recommendations should include a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons or closing the so-called "gun show loophole".

"You know I think I’m going to let them come up with the list of changes and comment on them when I see what they are," Shumlin says. "But here’s the point: none of the two things you just mentioned along will solve the problem."

The vice president’s recommendations on gun control are expected to be announced on Tuesday. Shumlin says he’ll wait to see what comes forward from that report.





OUTRO:  You can hear the complete interview with Governor Shumlin by going to and listening to Friday’s program.

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