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Vermont Legislature
Follow VPR's statehouse coverage, featuring Pete Hirschfeld and Bob Kinzel in our Statehouse Bureau in Montpelier.

Shumlin Says National Gun Control Solution Still Possible

AP/Toby Talbot

Governor Peter Shumlin is not backing down from his position on gun control, even as momentum in Washington for universal background checks seems to have run out of steam.

Shumlin continues to call for a 50-state solution.

Last week, the U.S. Senate defeated the Obama administration’s gun-control proposals.

Activists hope to revive the bill, while also pushing for new state laws. But Shumlin insists those fighting for stricter gun measures should keep their focus on Congress.

"I met with both Senator Leahy and Senator Sanders shortly before the vote," Shumlin said. "They were optimistic that we’d have a sensible background check in all 50 states. As you know, it ain’t over until it’s over and I firmly believe that they’ll come out with a bill that passes the Senate before we’re done that has a background check for buying guns in all 50 states.” 

As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy has found himself at the center of the debate.

After three lengthy hearings before his committee, though, the bill was stalled before the full Senate largely along party lines.

State legislation proposed at the beginning of the legislative session fizzled with little support.

Kirk is a reporter for the NPR member station in Boston, WGBH, where he covers higher education, connecting the dots between post-secondary education and the economy, national security, jobs and global competitiveness. Kirk has been a reporter with Wisconsin Public Radio in Madison, Wis.; a writer and producer at WBUR in Boston; a teacher and coach at Nativity Preparatory School in New Bedford, Mass.; a Fenway Park tour guide; and a tourist abroad. Kirk received his B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and earned his M.S. from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. When he's not reporting or editing stories on campus, you can find him posting K's on the Wall at Fenway. You can follow Kirk on Twitter @KirkCarapezza.
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