Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Ban Cell Phones for Those Under 21

Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Ban cell phones for Those Under 21

( — Sen. John Rodgers (D-VT) has introduced legislation that would ban anyone under 21 years of age of possessing or using a cell phone.

The bill states, “it is clear that persons under 21 years of age are not developmentally mature enough to safely possess them (cell phones), 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.”

In 2020, a new federal law went into effect that prevents those from under 21 of buying cigarettes. Rodgers seems to believe that cell phones are just as dangerous as cigarettes.

The bill was introduced on the first day of Vermont’s 2020 legislative session. It would make the possession or use of a cell phone for those under 21 a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one year behind bars, a $1,000 fine, or both.

The Bill is a Gimmick

Rodgers is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. He told the local newspaper, the Times Argus, that the “Legislature seems bent on taking away our Second Amendment rights,” and that a cell phone is more dangerous than a gun.

The two-page bill states the following:

  • The use of cell phones while driving is one of the leading killers of teenagers in the United States. According to the United States Department of Transportation, cell phones are involved in 1.6 million automobile crashes each year, causing half a million injuries and 6,000 deaths. Each day, 11 teenagers die in automobile crashes in this country.
  • Young people frequently use cell phones to bully and threaten other young people, activities that have been linked to many suicides.
  • The Internet and social media, accessed primarily through cell phones, are used to radicalize and recruit terrorists, fascists, and other extremists.
  • Cell phones have often been used by mass shooters of younger ages for research on previous shootings.

Rodgers admitted to the Times Argus that he wanted to make a point: if you have to be 21 or older to use a firearm or hunt, then you should be 21 or older to use a cell phone. In his eyes, phones have more power to widely hurt or kill someone than a gun.

“I have no delusions that it’s going to pass. I wouldn’t probably vote for it myself.”

Numerous states have passed laws that restrict cell phone usage while driving for persons under 21 years of age. However, this is the first piece of legislation that would outright ban cell phone usage completely.

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