Wednesday, January 9, 2013

We need YOUR help to this state wide problem

It's not just about semi-autos, magazines in only Burlington.
Its about Vermont municipalities being able to ban, restrict
and licensing firearms, ranges, ammo, hunting, fishing and
trapping out of existence.
On January 7th, the Burlington City Council overwhelmingly voted
to move forward with its proposed gun control ban.

About 100 people showed up to speak to the city council and the mayor.
The crowd was obviously opposed to the gun ban proposal. Approximately
20 to 30 members of the audience spoke to the council, all opposing the
gun ban proposal. While citizens were speaking members of the council
appeared to be texting, apparently bored with the citizens commentary.
It is not hard to figure out that nobody turned out or spoke in support of the
proposal, because it was all a done deal, and those pushing for the proposal
knew it, so they were not calling for people to turn out in support of the proposal.

The back and forth discussion of the city council and the mayor was a
recital of antigun talking points cloaked as justification for their actions.

The city officials then amended the proposal to make it even more loosely
written and worse, more restrictive, because the final version had a
handgun registration requirement, for those handguns their proposal did
alreadynot outright ban. No permit, no revolver, or get arrested.

The amended proposal now goes off to a charter committee, before
going back to the same city council.

What is really disgusting about all of this is that what the city officials
have done is so obviously in conflict with the 24 VSA Section 2295,
commonly known as Vermont's Sportsmen's Bill of Rights. It also
exceeds the authority the legislation grants to municipalities in
24 VSA Section 2291(8)

Worse, the members of the city council and the mayor repeatedly
said they weren't sure a gun ban would work but they want to open
"discussion" on gun control in the the state and ultimately in
the nation

This "discussion" agenda for this proposed legislation is simply not
legal just cause for the gun ban legislation the city officials seek.

Their own legal counsel, when asked, related their was no
precedent for such excessive gun control power being granted
in the state. That did not give the city officials pause.

When asked, the police chief, could not make the case for an
increase in violent criminal use of firearms. Certainly not by
use of the type of firearms the city seeks to ban or register.
Vermont has a long legal precedent of being a Dillon's Rule
state, meaning municipalities are entities of the state. They
only have the powers granted to them by the state. In this
case the state had not only not granted the municipalities
the power to regulate the ownership and possession of
firearms. The state specifically denied the municipalities
this power by the cited Vermont's Sportsmen's Bill of Rights.

Ultimately, the city officials passed the proposal forward in
the enactment process not because it was sound public
policy, but because they wanted to have a "discussion"
on banning semi-automatic firearms. Even though this
type of firearm is the most common and popular type of
rifle and handguns in civilian possession in this country.

Worse, the city officials voted to criminalize the possession
of these firearms for "discussion" and in contempt of
state law. And they fully expect to be rewarded for their
contemptuous action with the legislation granting them
a charter charter that makes cheap of said state statutes,
as well as the Vermont and U.S. Constitutions.
And they believe the state legislature will amend the
statutes to allow all municipalities to do the same.
And it can be done by changing just a few words
in these state laws.
Make no mistake about it, this action is not about
banning just semi-autos, magazines or handgun
registering revolvers only in Burlington.
It is about first amending and then repealing, so as
to neutralize, the three state laws that bar Vermont
municipalities from banning, restricting and licensing
firearms, ranges, ammo, hunting, fishing and trapping.
The Burlington city officials knowingly and blatantly
are acting to exceed their legal authority on a
"think globally, act locally" mission,act to destroy
the three state statutes that protect the firearm,
hunting, fishing and trapping rights from being
regulated out of existence by the states towns and
Which is exactly why these laws were enacted and
amended The three state laws are down below.
There will be a meeting of the Vermont Federation of
Sportsmen's Club in which the course of action of what
to do about this will a leading topic. Barre Fish & Game
Club, at 10 AM on Sunday, January 13th.
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.)