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Vermont uses first major gun control laws to stop suspected school shooting plotter from getting a gun

Published: April 16, 2018
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RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) — A day after Vermont's governor signed a package of gun control measures , one of the new laws was used to keep a school shooting plot suspect from possessing dangerous weapons.

A superior court judge signed an extreme risk protection order Thursday saying Jack Sawyer, 18, poses an extreme risk of physical harm to himself and others.

Republican Gov. Phil Scott said he changed his stance on gun restrictions after reading the police affidavit in the Sawyer case. He signed bills Wednesday that raise the age to buy firearms, ban high-capacity magazines and make it easier to take guns from people who pose a threat.

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.

Now some residents are on edge and a school is boosting security after the state Supreme Court ruled that Sawyer should be granted bail.

The court ruled Wednesday that Sawyer did not act on his plan and prosecutors did not have enough evidence to justify holding him without bail. He has pleaded not guilty to attempted aggravated murder and other charges and is being held without bail. No bail hearing has been scheduled.


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