Sunday, February 21, 2016

Vermont Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus, March 10, 4:30 PM - 7:00 PM (Cafeteria at State House)

Vermont Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus
March 10th 4:30PM - 7:00PM 
Your presence is requested!  Please Join Co-Chairs Rep. Pat Brennan, Rep. Cynthia Browning, Sen. John Rodgers and Sen. Alice Nitka and members of the Vermont Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus to celebrate our hunting and angling heritage and discuss some of the issues the sporting community is facing.
Invited Speakers
Governor Peter Shumlin, Lt. Governor Phil Scott, VT F&W Commissioner Louis Porter and Brent Miller, the Northeast Director for the Congressional Sportsman's Foundation. 
When: March 10thCocktails: 4:30pm - 5:00pm.  Speakers: 5:00pm followed by great food!
Where: Montpelier, Vermont State House Cafeteria
Provided: Food, Chef Ray's Famous Venison Chili, Cash Bar, Raffles, Door Prizes, and More!
Annual Wild Game Chili Contest:  Bring your crockpot of wild game chili to the event and enter it in the contest and take home the blue ribbon!  Official Judges, Prizes and Good Fun
Bring:  Your Friends and Family. 
Information: Contact Rep. Pat Brennan at (802) 578-2763 or


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Federation responds to Susan Minter's incorrect statement on lack of federal gun laws

Susan Minter is Wrong on Basic Federal Firearm Law  
Susan Minter last week issued a letter on her web site containing the following incorrect statement:  "This may shock you - right now, there is no federal law that makes straw purchasing a crime.  Straw purchasing, or purchasing a gun for someone who is already prohibited from purchasing a gun, is only illegal if the purchaser knows that the firearm will be used in connection with a crime."  
That claim is fundamentally and completely wrong, by federal statutory and case law.
For almost fifty years, firearm buyers have been required to complete a federal BATFE Form 4473. The first question on Form 4473, question "11.a", is "Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form?"  Above the space for the purchaser's required signature, Form 4473 contains multiple warnings, including "I understand that answering yes to question 11.a. if I am not the actual buyer is a crime punishable as a felony under federal law…."
Even those who favor gun restrictions recognize that this and existing federal law criminalize straw purchases- for example, the "Straw Purchase Policy Summary," of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence dated May 21, 2012, stated:
"Federal law prohibits straw purchases by criminalizing the making of false statements to an FFL about a material fact on ATF Form 4473, or presenting false identification in connection with the firearm purchase. Two federal statutes – 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(6) and 18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(1)(A) – are the primary laws under which straw purchases are prosecuted."
 To completely dispel any question that straw purchases are already illegal under current federal law, the US Supreme Court has upheld a felony conviction where a man bought a firearm for his uncle, to take advantage of a law enforcement price discount.  Neither man was prohibited from purchasing the firearm nor was there any intent to use the firearm in a crime.  But, because the buyer falsely answered question 11a on the Form 4473, failing to disclose that his uncle had advanced him the money for the purchase, he was convicted for violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(6) and the conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court.  The decision in Abramski v. United States was published on June 16, 2014 and that same day NPR carried the story Supreme Court Rules Against 'Straw Purchases' by Nina Totenberg reporting the case and decision.
Additionally, United States Code, Title 18, Chapter 44, Section 922(d) provides "It shall be a federal crime for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that they may be a prohibited person."  This type of illegal purchase is a straw purchase and it not based on whether or not a buyer of the gun knows the person they are purchasing the gun for will commit a crime. The violation of this law is based on whether or not the seller knows, or otherwise has reason to believe, that the purchaser may be a prohibited person.  Once again, in order to prosecute, there is no requirement of knowing the prohibited person will use the firearm in connection with a crime.
Vermont is proven by FBI statistics to consistently have one of the very lowest violent crime rates in the nation and constantly have one of best safety records, and BATFE data shows Vermont is not a major source of guns to other states.   
The Federation has long held that laws should be enacted in compliance with the state and federal constitution, and based upon sound public policy, including accurate law and facts. The Federation provides corrective information in response to published inaccurate information about matters of importance to our member clubs and Vermont's outdoor sporting and shooting communities.
Chris Bradley
President - Vermont Federation of Sportsman's Clubs

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Federation Mixer at the State House on Thursday, February 18

The Vermont Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs is holding its Annual Mixer in the cafeteria of the Vermont State House on
Thursday, February 18.  This is an excellent opportunity to visit the state house, listen to some guest speakers, talk with
elected and state government agency officials.  It is most appropriate to wear hunter orange to be very visible at the mixer.
The mixer will officially start at 5 PM and run to 7:30 PM.  The Federation will provide snacks and beverages.  There will
also be a cash bar.  The cafeteria is on the second floor in the back of the state house.  Follow the hunter orange.
However, people can show up earlier in the afternoon, starting at 3 PM and there will some folks to walk people around the
state house and explain the workings of the Vermont Legislature.  A strong turnout shows your elected officials that you take
seriously the legislation that is introduced and the way the legislature and state agency address matters important to you.
For further information call 802-485-6818 or 802-272-8544.

Directions to the State House (115 State Street, Montpelier)

From I-89:
  1. Exit 8 towards US-2/Montpelier  0.5 miles
  2. Merge onto Memorial Drive  0.7 miles
  3. Turn left onto Bailey Avenue  0.1 miles
  4. Turn right onto State Street  0.2 miles