One week after Governor Phil Scott signed S.55 into law on the steps of the Vermont State House on April 11 2018, the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and a group of other Vermont gun rights groups and individuals filed a civil lawsuit challenging the firearm magazine ban section of the new law.
This civil case has been working its way through the court process, but during that time a citizen was arrested in Bennington County for allegedly purchasing magazines in New Hampshire and bringing them into Vermont after the new magazine ban law became effective.. This alleged action created a criminal case.
In the criminal prosecution, the defendant challenged the constitutionally of the new law. The trial judge denied the challenge, ruling the new firearm magazine law was lawful. The criminal defendant appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of Vermont.
The defendant was represent by public defender legal counsel and the attorneys from the Attorney General’s Office prosecuting the case both agreed to an expedited hearing before the Supreme Court of Vermont to determine the constitutionality of the new law.
The lawyers for the state filed a motion to “stay” the civil case of the Federation and other parties until the expedited criminal law appeal was decided by the SCOV.
The attorney’s for the Federation and other groups appealed the “stay”. On March 10th the SCOV ruled in favor of the Federation in its challenge to the “stay”. That written opinion is an attachment to this E-mail.
The next move is for the Federation and other parties to pursue a Motion to Reconsider and if successful, this will move the civil case on to the Supreme Court of Vermont.
Due to the impact of the Corona virus, Governor Scott’s Executive Order has seriously impacted government operations, including the state’s judiciary. The Federation will continue to relate developments in the litigation in the challenge to the firearm magazine ban law.
Mr. James A. Valente of the law firm of Costello, Valente & Gentry, P.C. of Brattleboro, VT is the legal counsel for the Federation and the other parties in the civil lawsuit action.
The Federation has also joined with other parties in an amicus “friend of the court” brief in a legal challenge to a CA firearm magazine lawsuit that has very recently argued before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Federation also joined in an amicus brief for the N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York case that recently had oral arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States.
In both federal appellate cases the parties are awaiting the decisions and written opinions.
Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs: www.vtfsc.org and is on Facebook
Entry Order Feb Term 2020 20200310.pdf363.2kB