Following a similar move by Colorado, legislatures in two Northeast states recently advanced bills that would implement a mandatory waiting period for firearm transfers and purchases. Voted on earlier this month, both Maine and Vermont would require 72-hour – or three-day – waiting periods after initiating a NICS background check and become the 12th and 13th states to implement a waiting period prior to delivering a firearm.
Below is a summary of the firearm waiting period bills:
Waiting Period Bills
Maine HB 60
Reviewed by the state Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on May 17, 2023, Maine House Bill 60 would require a 72-hour waiting period following the sale of a firearm. Currently, firearm dealers in the state may transfer a firearm after receiving an approved notice from NICS or if three days have elapsed since the dealer contacted NICS to initiate the background check, whichever occurs first.
Proponents of the bill believe its passage would give people in a mental health crisis a “cooling off” period and help stop suicides.
“Maine may be one of the safest states in country, but as we have seen recently, we are not immune from gun violence,” posted committee co-chair, Rep. Suzanne Salisbury, on her Facebook page. “Honoring the Second Amendment while protecting our citizens is possible.”
Vermont H 230
Passed by both the state House and Senate as of May 8, Vermont House Bill 230 would establish a three-day waiting for firearm transfers. If signed into law, FFLs shall not transfer firearms until 72 hours after the licensed dealer facilitating the transfer has been provided with a unique NICS identification number for the transfer or seven business days have elapsed since the dealer contacted NICS to initiate the background check, whichever occurs first.
Though Republican Governor Phil Scott has been reluctant to pass more gun-related legislation, the act has been pushed as a means of suicide prevention.
“While such legislation cannot change the past, and it won’t save all Vermonters in the future, I know this bill will make a difference and prevent Vermonters in crisis from having quick access to the lethal means that could end their life,” said Speaker of the House Jill Krowinski earlier this year.
Stay State Compliant
State and local firearm laws – like those advanced in Maine and Vermont – often change more frequently than Federal regulations, putting an increased burden on FFLs to abide by state restrictions, avoid revocation, and guard against legal liability. But when armed with Orchid eState™, staying up to date with the latest firearm restrictions in your state and across the country is easy!
Whether integrated into your ecommerce webstore or used as a standalone tool, Orchid eState™ enables FFLs to monitor and check transactions against state and local-level firearm laws by customer ZIP code, product characteristics, and item UPC to prevent illegal shipments and sales, both in-store and online. Plus, non-firearm laws, like waiting periods, are also tracked for complete transparency and compliance to better protect your FFL.