Gun trainers: Magazine restrictions limit Vermonters’ right to self-defense

According to experts who train in shooting, a ban on standard-capacity gun magazines will inhibit the ability of Vermonters to defend their family and country from threats foreign and domestic.

Darin Goens is a certified handgun trainer the NRA’s liaison to Vermont and other New England states. In response to the Vermont General Assembly’s ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, he said the proposal not only infringes on gun rights, but also puts law-abiding citizens at a tactical disadvantage against violent attackers.

U.S. Department of Defense/Public domain

NEVER ENOUGH AMMO: The restriction on gun magazines to 10 rounds has proven to be the most unpopular gun law passed out of the Statehouse in the past week.

“This law would tip the scale in favor of criminals,” Goens told True North. “Basically, there are various scenarios where you are at a severe disadvantage — for example, what if three armed assailants break into your house and you are stuck with a ten-round magazine?”

He said such situations are common during disasters, such as hurricanes, where armed looters and gangs have been known to storm people’s homes and businesses.

Such people are criminals, Goens says, and are not going to follow Vermont gun laws. The result is that law-abiding Vermonters become sitting ducks during home invasions and other life-threatening assaults.

“So when you are looking at any kind of a self-defense situation, and you’ve got a law-abiding citizen who is concerned about following the law and obeying the magazine limit, they are limited,” he said.

If S.55 is signed into law by Gov. Phil Scott, Goens and other gun-rights advocates say it will likely be challenged in court. Ten states have laws restricting magazine capacity, and numerous lawsuits have been launched to strike down those laws.

“Ultimately you are going to have a lot of lower courts in disagreement,” he said.

But in higher court rulings, recent decisions have trended in favor of Second Amendment gun rights. In New York, a seven-round limit was overturned at a federal court in Buffalo. The limit reverted back to the previous standard of 10 rounds.

Goens reminded that if S.55 becomes law, Vermonters can buy standard-capacity magazines out of state and bring them back to Vermont. The accessories have no serial numbers or dates, and can’t be checked for violations.

“I’m not sure they have the resources to [investigate magazine violations],” he said. “When you take something that’s a legal product currently and you ban it overnight, you turn people into criminals with the stroke of a pen.”

Women’s firearms instructor Lawerence Hamel, who conducts training around Hardwick, Vt., echoed some of the points made by Goens.

“What is important about the magazine capacity and the ability to own high-capacity magazines? The whole Second Amendment was written to protect us from the government as well as us protecting the government from a foreign invader,” Hamel said.

He referenced a quote often attributed to Japanese World War II naval commander Isoroku Yamamoto concerning why the Japanese military never attempted a mainland invasion of the United States.

“You cannot invade the mainland United States,” Yamamoto said. “There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”

Hamel asserted that’s why we need to have standard-capacity magazines capable of holding more than 10 bullets.

“It’s not for deer hunting. … We are willing to lay down our lives in protection of our country. It’s like that saying, ‘Love your country, fear your government.’”

He noted that law enforcement has expressed opposition to the new gun laws, especially the magazine limits. While much of their reasoning has related to the difficulty of enforcement, Hamel said another issue is that these often-undermanned departments look to armed civilians for backup.

“I mean look at the Hardwick police — how many times have you seen them on patrol by themselves?” he said. “If something were to happen to them, who’s their backup? We are.”

Following passage of S.55 last week,Texas-based Magpul Industries and the editors of Recoil Magazine delivered 1,200 30-round rifle magazines to Vermonters free of charge as part of an operation dubbed “Green Mountain Airlift.”

“They’ve got a wholesale value of $10 a piece, so that’s $12,000 worth of magazines that they gave away,” Hamel said.

He noted that magazine manufacturers did the similar giveaways after the Clinton administration pushed for magazine limits back in the 1990s.

“There were tens of millions of them,” he said. “And there are probably tens of millions of these magazines in the state of Vermont now.”

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

Image courtesy of U.S. Department of Defense/Public domain

16 thoughts on “Gun trainers: Magazine restrictions limit Vermonters’ right to self-defense

  1. Elbridge Gerry, of Massachusetts:“What, sir, is the use of militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. . . Whenever Government means to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise a standing army upon its ruins.” — Debate, U.S. House of Representatives, August 17, 1789
    Alexander Hamilton, of New York:“[I]f circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights and those of their fellow citizens.” — The Federalist, No. 29
    James Madison, of Virginia:The Constitution preserves “the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation. . . (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” — The Federalist, No. 46
    Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia:“A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves . . . and include all men capable of bearing arms. . . To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms… The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle.” —
    Additional Letters From The Federal Farmer, 1788
    Samuel Adams, of Massachusetts:“The said Constitution [shall] be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.” —
    Massachusetts` U.S. Constitution ratification convention, 1788
    Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia:“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” — Proposed Virginia Constitution, 1776 “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms. . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” — Jefferson`s “Commonplace Book,” 1774-1776, quoting from On Crimes and Punishment, by criminologist Cesare Beccaria, 1764

    • Tom

      It always amazes me how a typical Leftist can read that and come up with the militia is the national guard,rather than every Tom,Dick and Harriet,up and down the lane and dell.

      • It’s not what they said, sir; it is how what they said is interpreted that matters.
        So what if it defies plain, well written English language.

        Soon we’ll be told to not believe our lying dictionaries and grammar texts.

  2. We have a civic duty to disobey an unjust law that is unconstitutional. These legislators all broke their oaths by passing this S.55 and knowing full well it won’t pass must of the constitution Section I, Article 16, or the 2nd Amendment.
    What would be any different then if they passed a law saying you needed to be 21 to vote, or only men could vote, went back to legislate that Vermont would join back to become part of New York?
    Would you still follow the laws then?
    They have already done away with your your 4th & 5th amendment rights.

  3. I shall go along with your silly ideas of banning guns if and when the Legislators and the Courts have a foolproof method of getting ALL criminals, prohibited persons and non-citizens from possessing, having access to and/or trying to acquire firearms FIRST.

    Please publish the means by which this will be attained.

  4. Liberals fear guns and the people who own them because they understand, at the very least unconsciously, that they (liberals) are dishonest and wrong in their approaches to things in general. They seem to fear the ability of honest people to stop them and perhaps extract retribution….

  5. If you can’t defend yourself unless your weapon has a bump stock and at least a thirty shot magazine capacity you better hire a professional bodyguard.

    How many folks have EVER needed more than one or two shots when hunting? That’s not been an issue for me. When I hunted the trick was to wait for a clear shot and make a clean kill with one shot if at all possible. How many folks (other than in a military combat zone) have ever even fired at another human being, or expect to do so in your lifetime? How many of us even own a bump stock? And if so, what do you use it for? Are you preparing to fire at police? National Guard? DEA? What’s all the panic about?

    And no, no one is coming to confiscate our guns.

    • At least there is one rational TNR reader out there. Thank you for this reasoned response. I too don’t get it. How often do three armed intruders, let alone one, burst into someone’s home in VT? And what makes one think that a 30 round clip will be better than a 10 round clip in that situation?

    • Funny, I don’t see hunting even mentioned in the second amendment. Maybe it’s these old veteran eyes that are fading. Perhaps it’s my memory. As your friend Cuomo from NY stated when he snuck the NY Safe act thru in the middle of the night, ” You don’t need three bullets to kill a dea uh,”. That was his answer to the Sandy hoax school shooting.
      Perhaps in your devine wisdom, you should inform us just how many ‘bullets you should be allowed to have in a clip’. By your wisdom, you should tell us just how many guys are planning to come thru my door in the middle of the night. That way, we could all be ready with just the right amount of ‘bullets’ to keep locked up in the safe so we would be able to ask our ‘guests’ to wait just a few so we’d be able to pick the right # of empty ‘clips’ near by that we could reload. I’m sure, if we offered them some tea and cookies, they would wait.

  6. Basically, the liberals don’t want the population to have any way to fight them when they create and impose tyrannical laws that chip away at their freedoms. That’s what it’s all about. The ultimate power to rule!!

  7. Listen the Liberals have an agenda , we have a “Statehouse ” full of these clowns and as you
    can see by the policy they make they haven’t a clue….!!

    So lets start over ” School Tragedies ” that’s what started this gun bill debacle, so what’s in
    Bill S.55 that will stop this… nothing , Now that’s a tragedy , all this is “smoke & mirrors ”
    these Liberal legislators,found a way to pass something and this is a good time for our agenda !!

    The Liberal big strategy was to drag schools kids into the equation and play on the heart strings
    of it’s citizens , Liberals have no shame but they have an agenda ( Gun Control ) no matter what.

    The second thing they throw out is ” Domestic Violence ” yes another tragedy but again what in
    this Bill S.55 will really work…….again nothing ??

    They all know the perpetrators in ( DV ) cases are very manipulative as we have seen.They play courts every day ( suckers ) and they know it but liberals don’t see it ,they will hide what ever they need to hide until they want to use it be it a ( gun , knife , bat ) where there’s a will there’s a way.

    So what dose Bill S.55 really do, it stops all ” law abiding ” citizens there freedom , yes we
    follow all the rules and regulation but you get penalized !! All the Criminals & Crazies will
    never follow any laws, all they understand is incarceration and know it won’t happen !!

    So Pro Gun Vermonters, these useless Bills have passed ( House & Senate ) and we know
    the Governor will sign ( SAD ). So if we don’t show our force at the ballot box then shame
    on us……………It’s late but never too late !!

  8. Just wait until next year – the socialists in office will have all winter to bring the next round of bills that will include bans on certain ‘scary’ firearms, bans on the magazines they grandfathered this year, and restrictions on quantity of ammunition purchased. If we can’t turn these carpetbaggers and their allies out of office, be prepared for what they’re going to deliver.

    • I believe you are right, they have opened the door and now they will keep chipping away until all guns are registered or confiscated.

    • You neglected/forgot to mention reloading components. How long will it be before we see them taxed, or whatever, to the point of restriction? That has to be a “next” in somebody’s little control freak mind.

      Pandora’s Box has been opened; the troubles are just beginning and no way I can see to get ’em back in the box and shut the lid.

      The more of this we shall see, the closer to the calamity of another civil insurrection we’ll come.

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