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Vermont Gun Laws

Vermont Gun Laws



Over the past ten years, Vermont’s gun laws have experienced notable changes, reflecting the state’s commitment to striking a balance between Second Amendment rights and evolving perspectives on public safety. From background checks to firearm storage, these developments underscore Vermont’s dedication to responsible firearm ownership. This article provides an overview of the key updates in Vermont’s gun laws and regulations from 2013 to 2023, presented in bullet points:

2013 – Firearm Storage and Child Access Prevention Laws:

   – Enactment of laws promoting responsible firearm storage and holding adults accountable for securing firearms from children’s access.

2014 – Enhanced Penalties for Gun Crimes:

   – Introduction of legislation enforcing stricter penalties for individuals convicted of gun-related crimes.

   – Aims to deter illegal firearm use and promote public safety.

2015 – Background Checks for Private Sales Discussion:

   – Exploration of potential legislation to require background checks for all firearm sales, including private transactions.

2016 – Enhanced Reporting on Lost or Stolen Firearms:

   – Strengthened laws requiring firearm owners to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement within a specific timeframe.

2017 – Enhanced Mental Health Reporting:

   – Strengthened reporting of mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

   – Aims to prevent firearm access by individuals with mental health concerns.

2018 – “Extreme Risk Protection Order” Enactment:

   – Adoption of laws allowing law enforcement to seek temporary firearm removal from individuals deemed a risk to themselves or others.

2019 – Enhanced Background Checks for Firearm Purchases:

   – Introduction of legislation requiring comprehensive background checks for all firearm purchases, including private sales.

2020 – Enhanced Oversight of Firearms Dealers:

   – Strengthened regulation and oversight of firearm dealers to ensure responsible sales practices.

2021 – Firearm Waiting Period Consideration:

   – Discussion about implementing a mandatory waiting period for firearm purchases to allow for comprehensive background checks.

2022 – Firearm Training and Safety Initiatives:

    – Exploration of measures to enhance firearm safety education and training among gun owners.

    – Emphasis on responsible practices and handling.

2022 – Enhanced Reporting on Domestic Violence:

    – Strengthened reporting of domestic violence incidents to NICS, preventing individuals with restraining orders from accessing firearms.

2023 – Enhanced Background Checks for Ammunition Sales:

    – Discussion about potential legislation requiring background checks for ammunition purchases.

2023 – “Red Flag” Law Exploration:

    – Further exploration of implementing “red flag” laws allowing temporary firearm removal for individuals posing risks.

2023 – Enhanced School Safety Measures:

    – Exploration of potential measures to enhance school safety, including resource officers or armed personnel.

Vermont’s gun laws have evolved over the past decade, reflecting the state’s commitment to responsible firearm ownership and community safety. These changes demonstrate Vermont’s proactive approach to firearm regulation. As the state continues to adapt its laws, it remains crucial for stakeholders, policymakers, and the public to engage in informed discussions that prioritize individual rights while maintaining community security.

The state of Vermont is one of many to employ very few firearm laws or restrictions. Vermont can arguably be considered as the state with the least amount of firearm laws. Even though the state may share similar legislature with other notably less restrictive states, such as no permits to purchase, or the requiring of registration of guns and their owners, the most notable law–or lack thereof–is the fact that under Vermont firearm laws, it not necessary to have a permit to conceal and carry a weapon.

It is an aspect of law that the state of Texas is currently pursuing and attempting to push into the state’s legislature as well. It is possible that the most stringent code of firearms law in the state pertains to the fact that all dealers are required to keep records of all sales of new and used handguns.

The records must include the weapon’s make, name, and model, as well as the caliber and manufacturer’s serial number. The purchaser’s information is also included on the record, which includes name, address, occupation, age, height, weight, and even hair and eye color. The records must be kept on file and on location for at least six years and made available to the proper authorities if ever requested.

Possession of a firearm is not contingent to obtaining permits or licenses either. No one under the age of 16 may be in possession of a firearm unless the minor has the permission of a parent or legal guardian. One of the few restrictions imposed by Vermont firearm laws is that no one can be in possession of a zip gun. A zip gun is defined as a homemade firearm or weapon.

These homemade weapons can often be disguised as other objects or hidden within them. Zip guns may commonly be disguised as pens, flashlights, or cell phones. Generally speaking, zip guns are prohibited and considered illegal in the United States. It is interesting that Vermont decided to enact this law in to writing, perhaps because of the fact that open carry and conceal and carry is available in the state with out a permit.

Because there are no restrictions as to what kind of weapon may be carried, the possibility of carrying a zip gun could be considered possible if it was not enacted as illegal by firearm law of Vermont. However, other dangerous firearms such as machine guns or automatic weapons do not have any regulations imposed. The purchase, possession, and selling of machine guns is allowed by Vermont law, as long as the weapon is registered and complies with federal laws.

As mentioned, the carrying of a firearm–open or concealed–is legal in Vermont. The only imposed restrictions upon the carrying of firearms is that an individual may not carry or possess a firearm on school grounds. The only exception to this law is if a firearms is on the grounds for the purpose of education and safety. This also includes court houses as well.

The other provision put in to law is that a loaded shotgun or rifle may not be carried in a vehicle on a public highway. Exempt from this law are law enforcement officers and hunters who may have a physical disability and provided with permit by the fish and game commissioner allowing them to do so.