There is a bill on the floor of the Vermont General Assembly that looks to ban minors under 21 years of age from owning or even possessing a cell phone. Violators could be fined up to $1,000 or imprisoned for up to a year. However, before you start freaking out, you should know it is not a bill that was meant to be passed.
A new bill in Vermont proposes banning the use of cell phones by minors. The proposed legislation, S.212, would forbid anyone under 21 from possessing or using a cell phone, and carries penalties of up to one year in prison and/or a $1,000 fine.
The legislation points out the detrimental effects of teenaged cell phone use, including cyberbullying and distracted driving. However, lawmakers are not likely to pass the bill.
Democratic State Senator John Rodgers, who introduced the legislation, told local news outlet Times Argus that he knows it will be voted down.
“I have no delusions that it’s going to pass,” the senator said. “I wouldn’t probably vote for it myself.”
“I have no delusions that it’s going to pass.
I wouldn’t probably vote for it myself.”
He claims he brought it to the floor it to make a point aimed at other legislative measures recently passed by the assembly. Rodgers, unlike many of his fellow Vermont democratic colleagues, is a vehement supporter of the Second Amendment.
“[The Legislature] seems bent on taking away our Second Amendment rights,” he said. His bill is more or less a protest statement to that trend.
In 2018, the state passed a law banning anyone under 21 from buying a firearm unless they have passed a hunter safety course, which Rodgers opposed. Even the language of S.212 sarcastically bashes the gun ban.
“In light of the dangerous and life-threatening consequences of cellphone use by young people,” the short, two-page bill reads. “It is clear that persons under 21 years of age are not developmentally mature enough to safely possess them, just as the General Assembly has concluded that persons under 21 years of age are not mature enough to possess firearms, smoke cigarettes or consume alcohol.”
The bill also mentions suicide prevention, which was a talking point used in another gun control proposal that imposed a 24-hour waiting period on gun sales. That legislation passed in the assembly, but Governor Phil Scott vetoed it.