Burlington City Councilors Explore Going Beyond Assault Weapon Ban

The Burlington City Council wants to expand its gun control agenda.

In the January meeting vote had a magazine size limit, registration and since then the police chief has urged knife control too.  Read on!

Following the tragic shootings in Colorado and Connecticut last year, some Burlington city leaders wanted to put a ban on assault weapons.

A committee looking at that met Monday.

But targeting assault weapons wasn’t the only it discussed.

Councilors took it further by exploring ways to put stricter laws in general into place.

Something some people didn’t like to hear.

“You can’t paint all of us with a broad brush,” said Bill Ethier.

“If you start going down that slippery slope it’s not only going to be guns,” said David Alexander.

In addition to an assault ban, they also want to ban people from concealing guns, bringing them into bars and clubs, as well as forcing homeowners to lock them and if police find it necessary, seize them.

“It gives the police an additional tool,” said Burlington City Councilor Norman Blais.

“It should be even more unnerving to think that they could have one hidden,” said Burlington City Councilor Rachel Siegel.

Leaders plan to get a resolution to the city council by this fall and then get it on the ballot for next Town Meeting Day.

To help them out in the process city council are bringing in experts to learn about the weapons, but they’re also considering taking a trip to a gun shop to get a hands on approach.

City councilors had hoped tougher gun laws would come from the state level, but no bills moved forward.

A sign they say their fight won’t be easy.

“I’m concerned that we’re embarking on kind of an arduous path that may ultimately be a futile one,” said Burlington City Councilor Tom Ayers.

City council members plan to meet again in two weeks to discuss their strategy.

Because they’re looking at a charter change, even if voters approve it next year, it would still need approval from the state legislature.

By Nick Natario