11-19-13 – Burlington Gun Control

by John McClaughry

A huge gun control battle is being waged in the Burlington City Council. It pits a new group called Gun Sense, demanding the usual sweeping gun control measures, against Gun Owners of Vermont and the Vermont Federation of Sportsmens Clubs.

The Federation’s spokesman said a couple of weeks ago that “In a candid admission that his goal is to provide a lead for other cities to follow, a key member of the Burlington council” – that would be Councilman Norm Blais – “ made it clear that he is intent on imposing citizen disarmament edicts on all Vermonters… “Burlington [is pursuing] the dismantling of the Vermont Sportsmen’s Bill of Rights so that towns and cities all over Vermont will have the power to enact gun control, hunting, shooting, fishing and trapping regulations.”

The Federation continued, “Aside from making absurd denials that no Constitutionally-recognized rights or state preemption proscriptions would be violated by Burlington adopting a host of edicts on its own, Blais expressed his desires for what would follow: “The opposition, the fear, the threat is that if this passes in Burlington, God forbid other Vermont towns might follow suit,” Blais declared. “And that is not a fear, from my perspective that is a hope.”

It now seems clear that Blais’s desired “assault weapons” and large magazine bans have been abandoned, but there are several less sweeping proposals still on the table. They will – and should- face a long rocky path.


John McClaughry is the founder and current vice-president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Eddie Cutler November 23, 2013 at 9:14 am

John lets not forget The Burlington ordinances are also against articles 1 and 16 of the Vermont constitution. The 2 ordinances will make it a criminal act if you merely walk across a parking lot that is owned by a bar. It doesn’t mater if you are going in or not. The lockup your guns ordinance will put you in prison because you don’t have a lock on your firearm even if its in a locked house and a locked room. The Gun Owners of Vermont will fight these heinous ordinances and win. It will cost Burlington tens of thousands of dollars possibly hundreds of thousands and they will accomplish nothing.
Ed Cutler
The Gun Owners of Vermont


Kristin Sohlstrom November 25, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Please note that this is NOT limited to Burlington. There are 4 mayors in VT who belong to the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns which was formed by NYC Mayor Bloomberg after the Sandy Hook, CT massacre. Those mayors are from Barre, Montpelier, Rutland and Burlington. GunSense VT is a subset of this group.


Luke Willard November 25, 2013 at 4:08 pm

These are extreme actions upon the rights of Vermonters and this, in turn, requires extreme responses from Vermonters. The time for civil discussion needs to END when constitutional rights are endangered. Voices need to raise and pitchforks need to be dusted off.


Cameron Barden November 25, 2013 at 6:08 pm

I’m racking my brain to find something constructive to say but I don’t have anything nice. We are in a fragile state of affairs here and we shouldn’t be considering these people asking for our guns to be correctly wired. History is bound to repeat itself and I’m afraid the blood that has been shed from innocent lives is only the beginning. I’ll say one more thing about this topic, for those of you that know and understand how things really get done around here: this is not just Vermont’s fight; it’s the fight for freedom everywhere. We aren’t the first domino and we certainly aren’t the last.


Bob DePino November 26, 2013 at 1:42 am

The illegal actions of a few scared people, backed by out of state money and political masters, shall not deter the law abiding citizens of Vermont.
Vermont shall not be a domino in the larger political overthrow backed by radical progressives, it shall be a wall they cannot topple.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

About Us

The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

Latest News

Scott: Make Paid Family Leave Voluntary, Unless Nobody Wants It

November 12, 2019 By Rob Roper For the past year, Governor Scott has been making the good fight on Paid Family Leave in demanding any such plan be...

False Claims of Falsity About Vermont’s Business Climate

November 8, 2019 by Rob Roper In a recent “fact check” piece by Vermont Digger, the online news site nailed Governor Scott’s comment that Energizer Battery’s decision to...

Sen. Warren and Medicare for All

November 7, 2019 by John McClaughry Last week Sen.  Elizabeth Warren released the details of her Medicare-for-All plan. The Wall Street Journal studied her explanation and concluded that ...

VT Education “Reforms” Not Helping Test Scores

November 5, 2019 by Rob Roper The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NEAP), aka the Nation’s Report Card, scores are out, and, sadly, it seems I write this...

Invisible high risk pools

October 25, 2019 by John McClaughry The Trump administration and Congressional Republicans are putting together a replacement bill for Obamacare, if it is struck down in a pending...