On Monday, September 9th, at 7 PM, the Burlington City Council will take up the proposed gun ban proposal as crafted by one of its committees. What this gun ban would do is extensive and just a start as to what some members of the city council want to enact. WCAX article below relates proposed ban. Click here to read more.
If Burlington is successful in getting the legislature to allow their ban, many towns all over Vermont will seek bans on guns, shooting, fishing and trapping as all are protected by the same state law(s) Burlington seeks to neuter. (State Law E-mail way down below)
Below are the E-mail addresses for the Mayor of Burlington and the members of the Burlington City Council. A polite E-mail saying with the subject line of City Council Vote and the message of “No to Gun Ban” and if you are a Burlington resident or property taxpayer you add that fact into your E-mail. You might also point out that the city council has other more important actual city government issues to deal with for Burlington.
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On September 9th, the Burlington City Council will take up the long & impressive list of gun control items drafted by its charter committee. This is about Vermont municipalities being able to ban or restrict the licensing of firearms, ranges, ammo, hunting, fishing and trapping out of existence by destroying our Vermont Sportsmen’s Bill of Rights preemption law.
In effect since 1988, 24 VSA Sections 2295 and 2291(8) have protected the rights of the outdoors sporting/shooting communities from banning or control by the municipalities. In 2006 the legislature added range protection into 24 VSA 2291(8).
If Burlington gets this authority granted by the legislature, municipalities all over the state will be trying to get exemptions from or amend/repeal the above cited Vermont Sportsmen’s Bill of Rights preemption law. Municipalities can then enact local ordinances to ban, regulate, tax or license any or all of the items or activities currently protected by two laws. The two critical state laws are down below. 10 VSA Sec. 5227 defines range.
24 § 2295. Authority of municipal and county governments to regulate firearms, ammunition, hunting, fishing and trapping
Except as otherwise provided by law, no town, city or incorporated village, by ordinance, resolution or other enactment, shall directly regulate hunting, fishing and trapping or the possession, ownership, transportation, transfer, sale, purchase, carrying, licensing or registration of traps, firearms, ammunition or components of firearms or ammunition. This section shall not limit the powers conferred upon a town, city or incorporated village under section 2291(8) of this title. The provisions of this section shall supersede any inconsistent provisions of a municipal charter. (Added 1987, No. 178 (Adj. Sess.), eff. May 9, 1988.)
24 § 2291. Enumeration of powers
For the purpose of promoting the public health, safety, welfare, and convenience, a town, city, or incorporated village shall have the following powers:
(8) To regulate or prohibit the use or discharge, but not possession of, firearms within the municipality or specified portions thereof, provided that an ordinance adopted under this subdivision shall be consistent with section 2295 of this title and shall not prohibit, reduce, or limit discharge at any existing sport shooting range, as that term is defined in 10 V.S.A. § 5227.
10 § 5227. Sport shooting ranges; municipal and state authority
(a) “Sport shooting range” or “range” means an area designed and operated for the use of archery, rifles, shotguns, pistols, skeet, trap, black powder, or any other similar sport shooting.
(b) The owner or operator of a sport shooting range, and a person lawfully using the range, who is in substantial compliance with any noise use condition of any issued municipal or state land use permit otherwise required by law shall not be subject to any civil liability for damages or any injunctive relief resulting from noise or noise pollution, notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary.
(c) If no municipal or state land use permit is otherwise required by law, then the owner or operator of the range and any person lawfully using the range shall not be subject to any civil liability for damages or any injunctive relief relating to noise or noise pollution.
(d) Nothing in this section shall prohibit or limit the authority of a municipality or the state to enforce any condition of a lawfully issued and otherwise required permit.
(e)(1) In the event that the owner, operator, or user of a range is not afforded the protection set forth in subsection (b) or (c) of this section, this subsection shall apply. A nuisance claim against a range may only be brought by an owner of property abutting the range. The range shall have a rebuttable presumption that the range does not constitute any form of nuisance if the range meets the following conditions:
(A) the range was established prior to the acquisition of the property owned by the person bringing the nuisance claim; and
(B) the frequency of the shooting or other alleged nuisance activity at the range has not significantly increased since acquisition of the property owned by the person bringing the nuisance claim.
(2) The presumption that the range does not constitute a nuisance may be rebutted only by an abutting property owner showing that the activity has a noxious and significant interference with the use and enjoyment of the abutting property.
(f) Prior to use of a sport shooting range after dark for purposes of training conducted by a federal, state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency, the sport shooting range shall notify those homeowners and businesses with property abutting the range that have requested such notice from the range.
(g) If any subsection of this section is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect the other subsections of this section that can be given effect without the invalid subsection, and for this purpose, the subsections of this section are severable. (Added 1991, No. 20; amended 2001, No. 61, § 71, eff. June 16, 2001; 2005, No. 173 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 22, 2006.)