On November 21, 2013, Burlington City Council Members voted to restrict ALL Vermonters gun rights and directly challenge Vermont’s Sportsmen’s Bill of Rights, Vermont Statutes Annotated, Chapter 24, Section 2295.
Voting to pass three city gun measures restricts ALL Vermonters rights. Many of us may choose to visit Burlington to shop, visit federal offices including Senators Sanders, Leahy and Congressman Welch or attend a public event or protest. All these place us at risk of violating the proposed ordinance changes and face criminal penalties unlike anywhere else in the state.
The three laws have to survive a March 4th Town Meeting Day ballot vote by Burlington residents and then face the Vermont legislature before becoming local law. At least two public hearings are scheduled before the vote in March. The first is Friday January 17 at 12:00 noon and the second is Monday January 27 at 7:00 PM.
It is very important that Vermonters and especially Burlington residents attend these crucial meetings, speak and contact your neighbors TODAY!
“20 years ago smoking was accepted; now it isn’t. No reason we can’t do this with guns.”
– Burlington City Councilor Norm Blais
“No one needs more ammo than what’ allowed in a single clip for hunting.”
– Burlington City Councilor Rachel Siegel
Here are the titles and short descriptions of the proposed laws.
§.510. Ban on Firearms in Any Establishment with a First Class Liquor License.
(a) Ban. Within the City of Burlington, no person may carry or possess a firearm, as defined by Section 4016(a)(3) of Chapter l3 of the Vermont Statutes Annotated, in any building or on any real property or parking area under the ownership or control of an establishment licensed to serve alcohol on its premises.
This law would make an instant criminal out of honest gun carrying citizens as it also includes the parking areas of these bars and restaurants. Forget about even walking through these areas. Denny’s, Red Lobster and many other family dining restaurants serve alcohol. Now these restaurants would be become easy targets for deranged individuals and criminals. This law would also take away the choice of the owner to allow firearms on his property or not. A simple sign in the window at the owner’s request would have the same effect and not infringe on anyone’s rights.
§512. Safe Storage.
(a) Within the City of Burlington, no person who possesses a firearm, as defined in 13 V.S.A. §4016(a)(3), shall store or otherwise leave the firearm outside of his or her immediate possession or control without having first securely locked the firearm in an appropriate safe storage depository or rendered it incapable of being fired by use of a gun locking device appropriate to that weapon.
How would a gun be helpful in an emergency situation if it is rendered incapable of firing? Locking up your gun needs to be a personal choice and not something that can be mandated by a few gun haters who are completely unqualified to make any gun laws to begin with. Keep in mind “When seconds count, police are only minutes away”.
And one needs to ask oneself, does the city of Burlington have enough man power to enforce this law?
§511. Police Seizure During Incident.
(a) Whenever, within the City of Burlington, a police officer has probable cause to believe that a person has been the victim of domestic abuse, as defined in Chapter 21 of Title 15 of the Vermont Statutes Annotated, the officer may confiscate any firearm, ammunition, or deadly or dangerous weapon, as defined in 13V.S.A.§4601, in the immediate control or possession of the person alleged to be the abuser.
According to this law the police officer gets to be the judge, juror, and executioner. This law totally erases due process and only succeeds in creating a more hostile environment. If any person feels threatened then the perpetrator should be removed, not the firearms. Removing guns from said premises only leaves the victim completely defenseless. What if there are 40 firearms on site? Or 80? Or several hundred? Does Burlington have enough safe storage for these guns? Do they have the men and trucks to remove them, too?
The Burlington city council is grasping at straws and not reality with these proposed gun control laws. In doing so, they are creating opportunities for crime to flourish and have kicked common sense to the curb. Please get involved and nip this foolishness in the bud. It is extremely important that these proposals get voted down so make sure you and your friends vote NO in March. See you at the polls!