23-year-old Vt. man’s obituary asking for ‘cooling off’ period in gun laws gains attention

Andrew Black.
Andrew Black.(The Black family via Corbin and Palmer Funeral Home)

A Vermont family pleaded in their son’s obituary for residents to ask their legislators to consider a “cooling off” period for gun purchases. Now, that request is gaining attention online.

Andrew Black, 23, died after he bought a gun on the morning of Dec. 6 and shot himself at his home in Essex, Vt., a few hours later, his parents told local news outlet WCAX earlier this week.

“Andrew was having a bad day, that’s the easiest way to put it,” Black’s father, Rob, told WCAX. “At 11:02 he went and bought a gun. Was out of the store by 11:30 and he was dead by 3 or 3:30.”


In Black’s obituary, his parents asked those reading to “please consider lobbying your State Representative with the following: ‘In honor of Andrew R. Black, we ask that you work for legislation that imposes a reasonable waiting period between firearm purchase and possession to provide a cooling off period to guard against impulsive acts of violence.’ ”

The obituary ran in the Burlington Free Press on Dec. 10, according to

The state of Vermont does not mandate any time in between buying a firearm and actually receiving the firearm.

Black was described in the obituary as an avid hiker and athlete who loved playing hockey and rooting for the Montreal Canadiens. He also was fascinated with brewing “innovative Vermont beers,” worked at Lawson’s Finest Liquids, and loved animals — especially his dog, Biggie, the obituary said.

“Andrew was kind, generous of heart, and known for his smile and laughter that could light up a room,” his obituary states. “Andrew Black was an adventurous spirit who loved deeply and was loved in return. He will be greatly missed by his many friends, family, and co-workers alike.”


His parents declined to say what specifically led to their son’s suicide.

“It was just so easy for him to do it,” his father told WCAX. “In the moment, whatever was going through his head, that was his solution to it.”

His father told WCAX that he “is not anti-gun by any means,” adding that he owns firearms himself. “But I am pro-waiting period.”

“If nothing more than 24 or 48 hours,” he continued. “If he had just had time to let us get home or go to work the next day, it could have totally been avoided.”

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.