Local gangs, increased gun sales blamed for Burlington gunfire epidemic

By Guy Page

Burlington city officials want tougher gun laws and more police spending to reduce the outbreak of Queen City gun violence.

A small number of local gang members are responsible for the big uptick in Burlington shootings, Chief Jon Murad said at a press conference at Burlington Police Department headquarters Thursday afternoon.

Burlington Police Department Facebook

Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad

Of the 38 gunfire incidents since 2020, 18 have been arrested. Almost all of the arrestees have been jailed without bail pending trial, he said.

Drug trafficking is not a significant factor in the gunfire, Murad said. Neither are the local gangs affiliated with national gangs, such as the Crips and the Bloods. The shooters are generally longtime Burlingtonians, not people who reside outside of Vermont, as is occurring elsewhere in the state.

Chief Murad said he doesn’t know how many of the arrestees have criminal records that would prevent them, under existing gun control laws, from legally owning guns.

Mayor Weinberger will present a proposal to reduce gun violence to the City Council. Among other measures, he will seek more funding to expand the current number of police officers.

Progressive City Councilors and Murad have discussed the crime problem at a community gathering, Murad said.

What Burlington won’t be doing is imposing municipal gun control. “We’ve tried that and it hasn’t gone anywhere,” Weinberger said. A proposed city charter change went nowhere with the Legislature, he said. He hopes Montpelier and Washington enhance existing gun laws.

State’s Attorney Sarah George said “we do need to realize the perfect storm” that’s led to the shooting increase includes the pandemic, economic strain, increase in poverty, record years for gun purchases, and erosion of trust and confidence in criminal justice system, especially among minority. She did cite the reduction in police staffing.

George was asked by Vermont Daily Chronicle to comment on the possibility that gun purchases have climbed because police defunding makes citizens, especially women, feel unsafe.

It really doesn’t matter why gun sales have gone up, George answered. “I don’t think it’s solving the problem, it’s adding to it,” she said. Weinberger agreed.

Guy Page is publisher of the Vermont Daily Chronicle. Reprinted with permission.

Images courtesy of Burlington Police Department and Burlington Police Department Facebook
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10 thoughts on “Local gangs, increased gun sales blamed for Burlington gunfire epidemic

  1. Would it make them feel better if they used knives like in NYC or in Amsterdam or London??? Crime happens, In most cases the cops are 10-20 minutes away. Having guns locked in a safe (most of us say it makes it unavailable) or they do not have one, when the state is not properly restraining these bad people, you cannot wish away those kinds of people, nor can being soft on them when they are shooting up or cutting up the populous. What do you expect. More guns to defend ourselves or at the least more ammo to practice even more. Seems like common sense to me. Notice the people doing the crimes are not lawful people, but those defending people and property are. In my home the best you can hope for, is to be shot. It is not the only weapon in the house or even onsite.

  2. An uptick in gun sales has nothing to do with the surge of shootings and violent crime in Burlington. Do you honestly believe that gang members, drug dealers and other criminals are all going down to the local neighborhood gun store and dutifully filling out the 4473 federal background check form so they can lawfully purchase a firearm? Are they saying “darn-it!” and “oh-shucks!” when the FBI check denies the purchase based on their criminal history? Are they throwing up their hands in defeat, saying “oh well, no guns for me?” No, they’re not. But that’s exactly what progressives believe because progressives don’t live in reality. Criminals obtain guns mostly through unlawful means. Attempting to solve the problem with gun control only hurts honest, law abiding citizens because criminals will continue to have guns regardless of what restrictions are passed. Americans went out and bought a record number of guns because progressive politicians pushed to “defund the police” based on a lie. They watched radical activists riot and burn down businesses and communities on the news every night. They saw how democrat mayors and prosectors caved to the BLM grifters by either looking the other way or incentivizing the behavior through catch-and-release bail “reform.” They realized they would be on their own when the mob came to their house and decided to protect themselves. How about locking up criminals? Wouldn’t that be a good approach? How about advocating for honest tax-paying citizens instead of coddling criminals and treating them like children? No, they have to focus on gun control because they have an agenda and they can’t let a crisis go to waste.

  3. I can’t believe it but the headlines of the next article kind of prove my point.

    “Vermont’s most prominent “no jail” prosecutor is Sarah George. Cash bail is racist, she wrote in an op-ed published by the ACLU-VT. She resists jailing even violent offenders after their arrest, preferring to return them to the street where, she says, they can access mental health and substance abuse programs.”

    That’s just what we need Revolving Door Justice and you say you want to reduce crime, are you kidding me? I can see why you are all in on restricting the rights of law-abiding Vermont citizens

    • RIGHT ON !!!
      COPS DO THE TOUGH PART, AND NAB THE SHOOTERS/KILLERS.
      tHEN THE “PROSECUTER” TAKES HER TIME WITH MUCH PITTY FOR THE POOR CRIMINAL
      oFFERS THE LEAST PUNISHMENT, ANT THE jUDGE REDUCES THAT TO ‘TIME SERVED”

      ON THE STREET SHOOTING AT SOMEONE ELSE, AND RUNNING MORE DRUGS – IN 30 DAYS

  4. 1. This is what happens when you reduce police funding and your force is diminished.
    2. “Chief Murad said he doesn’t know how many of the arrestees have criminal records that would prevent them, under existing gun control laws, from legally owning guns.” Excuse me Chief Murad and states Attorney George but isn’t your responsibility, to find out if they have broken federal/state gun laws and if so charge them with the offense?
    Allowing law-abiding citizens to purchase guns will never increase crime. Why are you punishing the great majority of legal gun owners in Vermont for the actions of a few? Not prosecuting gun law violations and soft on crime DA’s will cause crime to increase

    • Of course he knows – just plug the thug’s name in a search engine (if they decide to make it public) and up pops the criminal history in NY, NJ, PA etc.

      Quite the weak retort by the acting Chief.

  5. This is how the open border and allowing our nation to be flooded by drugs and gang bangers- THIS is how that all touches are lives up here.. so far from that border.
    Yeah, the problem is real and yeah, it’s in our own backyards.. not just the people that live near the border.

    Like Donald Trump said many times: “They are not sending their best!”
    But yeah I know, why listen to the mean Tweeter.. that has been proven right now over and over again.

  6. “Drug trafficking is not a significant factor in the gunfire, Murad said. Neither are the local gangs affiliated with national gangs, such as the Crips and the Bloods. The shooters are generally longtime Burlingtonians, not people who reside outside of Vermont, as is occurring elsewhere in the state”.

    If all of this is factual I would like to see tthe data that supports it,

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