- Associated Press - Friday, May 1, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Gov. Peter Shumlin on Friday signed into law a bill that places new restrictions on gun ownership in Vermont.

The new law makes it a crime for people with certain convictions to possess firearms. It also calls for Vermont courts to report to a federal registry when it finds someone mentally ill.

“The bill delivered to me today is a shadow of the legislation that I objected to at the beginning of the legislative session,” said Shumlin, who has been hesitant to change the state’s gun laws. “It makes common sense changes, similar to the ones that I supported to prohibit guns on school grounds, and that is why I signed it.”

An earlier version of the bill that would have expanded background check requirements to private gun sales was removed during debate.

Those who are deemed unfit in the database can have their gun rights restored after recovering from mental illness.

The portion of the law that prohibits criminals from possessing a gun and allows state prosecutors to handle those cases goes into effect July 1. The mental health component takes effect on Oct. 1.

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