Tuesday, September 3, 2013

In January Vermont gun owners were up in arms over protecting their rights...

Next Monday night, Sept. 9th, the Burlington City Council is taking up their gun control agenda again. 
This meeting starts at 7 P.M.   But you also may want to send a polite E-mail before the meeting. 
If Burlington is successful in getting the legislature to neuter the Vermont Sportsmen's Bill of Rights, so as
to allow their type of bans/control, other towns all over Vermont will want such bans/control on guns, ammo,
hunting, shooting, ranges, fishing and trapping.  As all are now protected by the very same state law(s) Burlington
would dissect.  Burlington's desired legal changes would create an "open season" on gun/outdoor sporting rights.
Below are the E-mail addresses for the Mayor of Burlington and all of 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 City Gun Ban"  If you
live outside Burlington you can relate that you will be talking long and seriously with your legislators if the city council
goes forward with their gun control/ban proposal. 

Please pass this along to those that live in the Burlington area!
Clint Gray,
Vermont Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, Inc.
On September 9th, the Burlington City Council will take up a very
impressive list of gun control items drafted by its charter committee. 
This is about Vermont municipalities being able to ban or restrict and
the licensing out of existence firearms, ranges, ammo, hunting, fishing
and trapping by destroying the effectiveness of 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 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.)