Cavendish among Vermont towns to vote on Second Amendment ‘sanctuary’ status

CAVENDISH, Vt. — Local voters are set to join Vermonters from four other communities across the state in seeking to create “Second Amendment sanctuaries” to protect gun owners from laws that erode longstanding state and federal gun rights.

The drive to put the resolution to a vote on Town Meeting Day was led by Stu Lindberg, a local resident and member of the Cavendish Selectboard.

In an interview with True North, Lindberg said he simply presented the resolution to the board, and members approved the resolution unanimously with the understanding that the Selectboard does not necessarily endorse it, but will let voters decide the issue.

Flickr/Fibonacci Blue (CC BY 2.0)

TAKING AIM AT GUN CONTROL: Communities across the state and nation are proposing resolutions that would declare their communities “sanctuaries” that protect gun owners from new gun control laws.

“The idea came from my concern over what’s happening in Virginia, and there’s this lack of understanding or even basic knowledge of what the Constitution says, and I find that our elected officials in Vermont and our congressional delegation has moved really far away from the original intent of the document,” Lindberg told True North.

If approved on Town Meeting Day, the resolution would declare Cavendish to be “a Second Amendment and Article 16, Constitutional Gun Owner township,” according to the text of the measure.

It continues that the township also would consider all federal and state laws and regulations attempting to restrict gun rights “null and void under this resolution.”

Lindberg explained that the resolution would not be able to supersede state law since Vermont is a “Dillon’s Rule” state, meaning that state law preempts town government.

“It’s a symbolic gesture to educate people,” he said. “The paradox of the whole thing is, it’s an emphatic statement that reiterates the supreme law of the land, both in the U.S. and Vermont.”

Communities across the state that have passed, or are working to pass, similar resolutions include Holland, Pittsford, Searsburg and Barton. The resolutions are being advanced in response to new gun control bills by state lawmakers that would prohibit gun owners from carrying “assault weapons” in public places, including houses of worship, public buildings, parks, theaters and stadiums, among other locales.

Gun Owners of Vermont released a statement in recent weeks urging citizens to make their municipalities safe from gun control laws.

“The Gun Owners of Vermont enthusiastically encourages every town across Vermont to pass
similar resolutions. It is only through defense of our rights that we can maintain our
rights,” the group’s statement said.

The state’s leading gun rights group also has seen a change in leadership. Longtime president Eddie Cutler announced his retirement after 23 years leading the organization. He will be replaced by Eric Davis, of Roxbury, the group’s former vice president. Bob Readie, of Warren, will fill the vice president role.

Scott Ranney, a local resident of Cavendish and former candidate for the Vermont House, told True North that he supports the cause.

“The Second Amendment is being trampled on in Vermont because these progressives think they can get away with it and really it’s not constitutional,” he said. “I think this will send a message to the people that live in the towns and the state that’s something is going on and they need to get activated. … Maybe a key person will wake up and they will run for that office.”

Ranney said the reason gun control advocates are intent on restricting popular AR-15 semiautomatic rifles is because the guns are a modern-day equivalent of the muzzleloaders the American colonists used to effectively fight the British armies at the time of the Revolutionary War.

“They had a similar gun in their house as the army of England,” he said, echoing a popular view that the Founding Fathers adopted the Second Amendment to grant citizens power to defend themselves against tyrannical governments and despots.

Lindberg said resolutions involving climate and energy policy have appeared in recent years on the ballot during Town Meeting Day, and that this resolution is a demonstration of public discourse that dates back to the ancient Greeks of Athens during 504 B.C.

“I figure what better place than at Town Meeting to discuss this with my friends and neighbors and family, and that’s what drove me to sort of put it forth,” he said.

Last week, state senators in Virginia passed a “red flag” gun law that would allow authorities to remove guns from people deemed dangerous to themselves or others. The move encountered fierce opposition from gun rights advocates and lawmakers.

In Vermont this year, lawmakers are advancing H.600, which would require firearms dealers to file “suspicious activity reports” with the Commissioner of Public Safety on those who purchase or inquire about guns. Another bill, H.610, would force gun buyers to wait for the federal firearms background check to complete before taking home a gun, a process that can take between a few days to a few months.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Cimmerian praetor and Flickr/Fibonacci Blue (CC BY 2.0)

14 thoughts on “Cavendish among Vermont towns to vote on Second Amendment ‘sanctuary’ status

  1. It was said awhile back that VT has the old mark of the hobo. During the economic crash of 1929, people, generally men who’d lost everything, would journey on foot looking for employment. They weren’t criminals, mostly good people really down and out. Many rural folks, especially farmers welcomed these travelers in for a hot meal and temporary relief from their trudgery. When the hobo continued on his journey he left a blaze on a tree beside the road indicating a welcoming home.
    Similarly, VT has been marked as any easy touch for carpetbaggers and regressive politicians hell bent on controlling the people for their own profit. Calling politicians progressive, who would shackle the citizens under totalitarianism, is really an insult to the idea of progress.
    BTW, my wife’s folks are from the mountains of CT, where it isn’t flat.

  2. The term flatlander divides people who should be natural allies. I am fortunate to have neighbors in the back woods of Vermont that love liberty and the founding documents. The majority of them are transplants from the flatlands. I know too many native born Vermonters that have fallen for the false promises of progressives and Democrats. Wish I could turn them around.

  3. It appears that Cavendish is finally adopting some good sense, in spite of the disrespect they showed to Solzhenitsyn while he lived there.

  4. A tale of two sanctuary meanings is in order. Cities and states that claim to be against immagration laws are in violation of federal law and are illegal. Those laws regulating who and who can’t come into our country are laws passed by congress and enforced by the federal government via the president of the USA.

    Sanctuary states, counties or cities declaring 2nd amendment refuge from politicians are legal and probably enforcable. Those actions support constitutional freedoms guaranteed by the constitution. In Vermont, our article 16 is actually stronger than the 2nd amendment in the Bill of Rights. The government nor politicians can grant rights that are naturally born rights as in the ability to defend yourself, your family and your possesions as well as property.

    While one sanctuary resolution goes against federal law the other supports freedom enshrined in our founding document found as the second amendment in a list of 10 which protect citizens from their government.

  5. Please stop insulting and dividing the residents of Vermont by blaming “flatlanders” for all the woes of the state especially on the issue of gun rights. I am a “flatlander” and moved here from Connecticut fifteen years ago for gun rights as I seen the writing on the wall in Connecticut. I am a vet and an Oath Keeper and I can give you a long list of “flatlanders” I know that believe in our Constitutional form of government. My state representative was born and raised in Vermont yet voted for the abortion bill and every gun control bill put on the floor of the legislature. Ed Cutler of Gun Owners of Vermont is originally from Connecticut. What we should be doing is uniting all the citizen’s who believe in preserving our Constitutional Republic and the Bill of Rights regardless of where they came from. Progressivism is the poison not where the person comes from.


    • Maybe a better use of words would be Dem/Prog liberal flatlander/trustafarian. Vermont is a progressive petri dish for all things progressive which equates to control of the rubes, us regular people. Social engineering from elite, ego driven politicians who have the need to push whatever they think onto uninformed people by promising to do extraordinary acts like controlling the weather from a tiny state. They will also make you safe by taking away your natural born rights to defend yourself in the process making criminals more powerful. It is easier to invade a home with no firearms protection inside. TAKE BACK VERMONT, problem solved. Vote against democrats, progressive, socialists and communists.

    • You are an exception to the rule, Mr. Lanese. It was the emigration of flatlanders into this state starting in the late 1950s that turned us from Republican to Democrat/Socialist. I consider all those who aren’t born here and who maintain a socialist ideology as true disruptive and totalitarian flatlanders. For those who are staunch supporters of the U.S. and Vermont Constitutions, I may needle them in private, but consider them true Vermonters. After all, the Allens moved here from Connecticut and defended all of our liberties, plus established the first free republic in North America.

  6. I’m sure the conservative communities in the Kingdom will join and follow suit. I’ve been harping on this since the VA uprisings started and contacted the conservative media outlets (such as this) but no articles, until now. It’s a real concerning situation and glad the grave matter is getting exposed in VT.
    Guess it takes more notable writers / contributors.

    VA isn’t the only state, it’s spreading like wildfire to many other states, VT should join in spite of Montpelier controlling Flatlanders. If it happens, perhaps the next election will become more important to the voters.

  7. It’s encourageing to see Vermonters starting to see what harm our reps in Montpelier are doing to the second amendment and to our gun rights. The next step is to show up in mass at the statehouse the next time any new gun laws are proposed. The same several hundred to a thousand show up each time. I’ll bet if we get a few thousand or more it would put a chill up the spine of the would be gun grabbers.

  8. This must continue and spread. And we need a publicly accessible virtual map of VT indicating, in red, all the towns and cities that adopt these measures.

  9. “It’s a symbolic gesture to educate people,” he said. “The paradox of the whole thing is, it’s an emphatic statement that reiterates the supreme law of the land, both in the U.S. and Vermont.”

    “The Second Amendment is being trampled on in Vermont because these progressives think they can get away with it and really it’s not constitutional,” he said. “I think this will send a message to the people that live in the towns and the state that’s something is going on and they need to get activated. … Maybe a key person will wake up and they will run for that office.”

    This will drive the uneducated Left into a conniption fit ,every gun control law in this state and the nation according to the Constitutions are un Constitutional and thus null and voids no other law over rules the Constitutions,Period. According to the US Constitution every state, city,town or burg in this nation is a second amendment sanctuary already.

  10. Great news, but we shouldn’t have to go that far, as we have the US & Vermont
    Constitutions It should be all we need !!

    Wake up people, Vote these ” Liberal” fools out of “Golden Dome “, maybe they’ll
    go back and save their home states !!

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