Along with the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and GunSense Vermont, the Vermont Medical Society has filed an amicus curiae brief in Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs v. Birmingham. The coalition is urging Vermont’s Superior Court to reject a gun-lobby backed challenge to S.55, an important gun safety measure adopted in Vermont during the 2018 session. Among other things, S.55 restricts access to the large capacity magazines (LCM) used in mass shootings from Sandy Hook to Las Vegas and countless other tragedies. It was signed by Governor Scott shortly after the Vermont State Police stopped a would-be mass shooter from perpetrating a school shooting at Fair Haven High School.
Earlier this summer, a complaint was filed by a Vermont attorney on behalf of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and others, asking for a declaration that the LCM ban is unconstitutional and seeking an injunction to prevent the state from enforcing the law.
Rebecca Bell, MD, MPH, Pediatric Critical Care physician at the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital, member of the Vermont Medical Society and Vice President of the Vermont Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said, “The Vermont Medical Society is pleased to join this amicus brief in support of S. 55 on behalf of our 2400 physician, physician assistant and medical student members. Although even a single bullet wound has the potential to be fatal, ammunition devices that allow for multiple injuries and a greater number of victims are of particular concern. More bullet wounds lead to more devastating injuries and a higher likelihood of death. Multiple gunshot victims will stress any hospital system despite contingency plans for mass casualty events. Vermont physicians and trauma team members work to save victims of trauma every day. We provide high levels of expertise, skill and resources to those critically injured. But the devastating injuries and multiple victims made more possible by large capacity feeding devices make saving lives more difficult.”