Municipal firearms restrictions No. 1 priority for gun control group

By Guy Page

The Nov. 8 election was tough on Vermont’s pro-Second Amendment advocates for gun rights.

Voters returned only 37 Republicans to the 150 seat-house, eliminating virtually any possibility of one-third of the House membership supporting a veto by Gov. Phil Scott. Speaking generally, Republicans traditionally support gun rights; Democrats traditionally favor gun restrictions. Scott had embraced some gun control legislation but demurred on and even vetoed other bills. Any future vetos are highly unlikely to be sustained.

state of Vermont

Sen. Philip Baruth, D-Chittenden

A few days later, re-elected Sen. Phil Baruth (D-Chittenden) was chosen to lead the Vermont Senate as its next pro tem. He succeeds Becca Balint, who was elected to Congress. Baruth is the acknowledged leader and driving force of firearms restrictions in the Vermont Legislature.

Yesterday, Conor Casey, a newly-elected House member for Montpelier and executive director of the pro-gun control advocacy group GunsenseVT, told Vermont Daily Chronicle his organization will definitely pursue repeal of the state law prohibiting municipal firearm restrictions.

Passed in 1987, the Sportsmen’s Law states: “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.”

The law follows Vermont’s enduring legal principle of ‘pre-emption,’ in which state law pre-empts (supercedes, trumps) municipal law.

“A Vermont municipality only has the power that the Legislature allows it to have,” Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs president Chris Bradley said. “This concept is known as “Dillon’s Rule,” a cornerstone of municipal law, with Vermont being one of 40 states that have this sensible approach to handling certain types of laws.”

Sensible or not, Gunsense has the Sportsmen’s Law in its sights.

“Repealing the preemption law is absolutely on the GunSense legislative agenda,” Casey told VDC. “I anticipate you’ll see other towns passing supportive resolutions in the coming weeks.” Burlington is considered the leading candidate for firearms restrictions.

And Gunsense won’t stop at changing just one major gun law.

“In addition, GSVT will be pushing waiting periods, safe storage, a ban on assault weapons (based on the NY definition) and expanding the ERPO [extreme risk protection order] law,” Casey said.

Speaking to his own role as both lawmaker and paid policy advocate, Casey said he plans to remain with GunSense, but not in a policymaking capacity.

“I will remain at GunSense part-time in January, but as the organization has both a [501]C3 and [501]C4, I’ll be shifting to the former, working on education campaigns and performing more administrative work. The organization is currently in the process of bringing a government relations person onboard for political work,” Casey said.

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

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Thayne Tuason and state of Vermont

24 thoughts on “Municipal firearms restrictions No. 1 priority for gun control group

  1. Criminals DON’T care about LAWS, that’s why their called criminals.. Facts so simple a cave man could see them but apparently not a so called
    professor of english flatlander….More unconstitutional restrictions on firearms ownership only hurt the citizens trying to protect themselves and their families. I’m sure this dweeb is also for de-funding the police and no bail with special privileges for the poor oppressed black criminals.

    • Correct. It shows how stupid & ignorant every Progressives is…to facts, logic & common sense. Restrictive new gun laws in VT will be honored by honest citizens. But criminals, drug dealers & bad people???…If it is soon harder to get guns in VT…they will just get them from out of state! Drug dealers have organized networks to move any weapons & illegal guns…there is a lot of money $ in it. There must be around 400 million guns now in the USA. So no matter what restrictive laws VT puts in…bad people will forever have access to whatever they want…So the homicides & shootings in VT will continue, unabated….and, on a soon lesser armed citizenry.

  2. I understand that Phil Baruth is a professor. If so, you would think he would have reasoning skills. No matter how many times we say this people like Phil here can’t figure it out. I’ll try again. Criminals do not obey laws! I think Phil is from NY and has no real attachment historically to Vermont. If Phil is smart enough to teach at a college or university, you would think that he could understand that criminals don’t obey laws, right? Well, I think he knows full well that criminals don’t care about laws. Phil goes to work where there is a fully armed police/security department on campus just a call away. Some Vermonters who call the police must wait over an hour for a response. Here’s what I believe, Phil really is a water boy legislator for all things progressive which includes controlling all people to do as he sees fit.

    If you look at cities controlled by progressives they have the most restrictive gun laws and the highest murder by gun rates. This doesn’t matter to someone like Phil because his mission is an ideological road map to control society. Their fear of firearms should be focused on illegal guns being carried in Burlington and VT by convicted felons who should be in jail.

    Conner Casey is the other side of the gun controllers coin. He probably isn’t smart enough to figure most things out by himself. The rumor is he has failed at all of his jobs so there’s no better place for him than in the Vermont legislature. Just hired as the Cough Cough, Executive Director of Gun Nonsense VT, he has now risen to Montpelier legislator. He is a well known face in the local taverns and draws on his current woke status to impress whoever. He is also a Montpelier council member and one of the people responsible for allowing the BLACK LIVES MATTER fiasco painting on the street in front of the peoples state house. Not originally from Vermont he has ingrained himself into the Montpelier nightlife as rumor would have it. He probably has no intention of honoring his oath of office and probably has never studied Vermont history or the Vermont constitution a requirement of the woke Montpelier political class. This law that they are trying to propose is unconstitutional but since when did that matter to a woke progressive from out of state.

    • Nice try…he’s an English professor…no reasoning skills required….same goes for the spokesperson for the anti-Constitution/anti-firearm non-profit…a non-profit that heavily engages in political activity yet enjoys 501(c)(4) tax status. We voted for this. Instead of questioning the reasoning skills of these public figures, I question the reasoning skills of the average Vermont voter…this is not your grandfather’s Vermont.

      • Rich, I fully agree. I didn’t realize his field of study. Funny, I’ve been using English for decades now. Some people refer to the professor as weird energy, Phil. Now I understand his fear of real men. Men who would actually defend his life with a gun as he cowers in the corner. I wonder if he has any guns. Like Conner Casey who pushes for gun control who bought a gun foe himself because he thought someone was following him. However, Conner would like to make a recently separated young wife to wait to buy self protection from a violent ex. These are the same people who take an oath to defend our rights. They are the dangers to freedom and our republic not us.

      • VTGOP could be defining the difference between lobbyist and non-profit…we so abuse the system, all these “non-profits” lobbying the state and making all sorts of “grass roots” activism with their out of state money and out of state organizers…..

        We’re be occupied and run by outside forces….

        AND we make it a tax right off! It’s crazy….but nobody says anything.
        Uniparty loves this system.

    • Baruth is a commie’s commie. He knows exactly what he is doing, destroying the Constitution to facilitate the communist takeover of the United States.


  3. Lincoln understood what the power of the power of the 2nd Amendment gave to the citizens of the United States.

    “We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who would pervert the Constitution”. – Abraham Lincoln

    “This country, with its institutions, belong to the people that inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it”. – Abraham Lincoln

  4. Repealing the pre-emptive law for anything has massive, catastrophic consequences that have NOTHING to do with the second amendment. It’s WAYYY bigger than that.

    They’ll have us fighting about guns, and we’ll lose because of their massive structure.

    But their goal is much bigger, more devious than the second amendment. Much more so. We better get on board with what the hell is going on in Vermont. This cold chill in the air has nothing to do with winter, nothing at all. Lord help us, please.

  5. Want to have your house robbed?

    Put up a gunsense sticker in your window. Put up rainbows and unicorns.

    Want you house to be avoided by thieves? Put up the following:

    1) American flag —
    2) Security cameras by Smith and Wesson
    3) NRA member
    4) Gun Owners of Vermont proud member
    5) Bumper sticker, “I’m ammosexual”
    6) Proud Veteran

    With this simple security system crime in Burlington would plummet. Certain does for any household that lives this way.

    Bernie for President signs, may get different results.

  6. Too funny, this :”Burlington is considered the leading candidate for firearms restrictions.”

    Really? The majority of gun violence & homicides in BTV are drug-dealer related. And many of the drug dealers happen to Black – from out of state (just look at the VT prison demographics….sorry). So if BTV enacts strict gun measures….isn’t that RACIST? BTV may try to take away gun rights for the drug dealers?. Of course, criminals & drug dealers will never comply with ANY new gun laws, right? So what good will it do if the only people that comply, are the honest citizens….and they are the ones now restriced in gun ownership? Is their ANY logic – to ANY Progressive “feel good” legislation? Nope. Criminals and drug dealers will continue to do what they do with all the illegal, unregistered guns they have. They will never be “restricted” – because even if BTV tries to…. they will just bring them in illegally from out-of-state sources….at will. Duhhh!

    • When municipal restrictions are implemented, of course there will be “unwritten” provisions to overlook violations by certain “protected groups” based on perceived victimhood or status as being “historically disadvantaged” or the old “tough upbringing” defense. Only whitey needs to be concerned about enforcement since whitey is the root of all evil. Burlington will continue to roll out the red carpet for it’s diverse “tourists” from Springfield MA, Hartford CT, Philadelphia PA etc. These proposed gun restrictions will be in the back pocket of county prosecutors in order to selectively go after people who are disliked for their politics or activism. Look how they made an example of Max Misch for purchasing “large capacity” magazines in NH. He didn’t help his case by deliberately challenging the law but every VT media organization that reported on him made sure to taint all gun owners by continually referring to him as “white supremacist” Max Misch. The major media is powerful and is a wholly owned entity of the left.
      The SCOTUS will have to be the last bastion of firearm freedom, since the VT Supreme Court is also a wholly-owned subsidiary of the democrat party and could not care less about Article 16 of the VT Constitution…

  7. I WILL NOT OBEY AND I WILL NOT COMPLY. ALL GUN CONTROL UNDER THE U.S. CONSTITUTION IS ILLEGAL! Government does not give us our rights. Our rights are not given to us by the Constitution. Our rights are given to us by God and are inherent to us as human beings and by the Laws of Nature. These rights that we are born with are affirmed to us by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments of the Constitution and specify what the government can and cannot do to us as citizens of the United States. Government’s only power is the power which is enumerated to it by the Constitution. The federal government, a state, county or town cannot pass a law contrary to the Constitution. Article 6 the Supremacy Clause makes the Constitution the supreme law of the land. Under our Constitution the government is not delegated the authority to legislate, enforce, or adjudicate laws pertaining to the exercise of our rights under the Constitution – Period. The government is not delegated the authority by our Constitution to require the government’s permission to exercise any right affirmed to us under the Constitution. The government is not delegated the authority by our Constitution to compel us to waive our guaranteed 4th Amendment right to be secure from unwarranted interrogation, search, or seizure in the absence of probable cause of criminal conduct. Or compel us to waive our guaranteed 5th Amendment right to due process as a precondition to being allowed (or denied) the exercise of our right to keep and bear arms. This violation of our 4th and 5th Amendment rights happens every time that we are interrogated under penalty of perjury without probable cause that a crime has been committed when we fill out B.A.T.F.E form 4473 to purchase a firearm. The government is not delegated the authority by our Constitution to compel us to waive our 10th Amendment right to a federal government exercising only those powers delegated to it by the United States Constitution, and State governments are prohibited the exercise of any power prohibited to the States by the United States Constitution.
    The government is not delegated the authority under the 14th Amendment to make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States. Government is not delegated by our Constitution the authority to license firearm dealers or operate or fund the most powerful anti-rights government agency on the planet called the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Since no Amendment in the Bill of Rights has been repealed thru Article V or by a National Convention of States, the only legal way to change the Constitution, all existing gun control laws presently violate five Amendments of the Bill of Rights and goes against the settled law of two Supreme Court decisions, Heller vs the District of Columbia 2008 and McDonald vs Chicago 2010. Both decisions affirm that the people’s right to keep and bear arms is an individual right and that citizens are allowed firearms in common use, those small arms or those that operate like them and are issued to our National Guard which comprises of citizen soldiers.

    The purpose of compelled background checks as a precondition to allowing or denying the transfer of a firearm is to deceive firearm owners and prospective owners into unknowingly waiving their rights guaranteed by the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 10th and 14th Amendments so they will have no rights left to claim when the government decides to register and confiscate our firearms. We have a right to keep and bear arms, not a privilege to keep and bear arms. Our rights are beyond the reach of the government and no citizen has to ask government permission to exercise a right. Government has no authority delegated to it by the Constitution to deceive its citizens into waiving their rights or acquiescing to the loss of their rights by subterfuge, scam, fraud, or force. DO NOT VOLUNTARILY GIVE UP YOUR RIGHTS!

    Unconstitutional Official Acts
    16 Am Jur 2d, Sec 177 late 2d, Sec 256:
    The general misconception is that any statute passed by legislators bearing the appearance of law constitutes the law of the land. The US. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and any statute, to be valid, must be in agreement. It is impossible for both the Constitution and a law violating it to be valid; one must prevail. This is succinctly stated as follows:
    The General rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose, since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. An unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed. Such a statute leaves the question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute not been enacted. Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principles follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, and justifies no acts performed under it..… A void act cannot be legally consistent with a valid one. An unconstitutional law cannot operate to supersede any existing valid law. Indeed, insofar as a statute runs counter to the fundamental law of the lend, it is superseded thereby. No one Is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it. The Supreme Court’s decision is as follows; “An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it has never been passed”. Norton vs Shelby County 1886 – 118 US 425 p.442.

    Alexander Hamilton explains unconstitutional law in Federalist No.76; “No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid”.

  8. Baruth and the others that signed on to the Red Flag Bills they tried to pass should have been removed from the Statehouse because they committed perjury.
    They violated their Oath of Office to uphold the Constitutions of VT and America by introducing a Bill that removed 2nd Amendment protections from Law Abiding Vermonters.

    I made three efforts to have him and the others removed.
    I called on Janet Miller, The Sergeant at Arms in the Statehouse.
    I called on Sheriff Sam Hill of Washington County to do his job and remove them.
    And I called on AG Donovan to remove them.

    They are protected by an inept and biased system that has allowed this to continue.

    Casey and Baruth are afflicted with the same woke agenda that believes punishing Law Abiding Vermonters will reduce the crime that they are in fact allowing to happen. It is this simple, Removing Guns from Law Abiding Vermonters will make them victims to those who break the Law. ( Criminals don’t care about your Laws )
    Here is something else you fail to understand, VT has always been in the top 3 safest States in America because of being Pro Gun.
    The people you are trying to disarm are the ones who would defend your life from an unprovoked attack. Despite the fact you are trying to harm them and their Family.

    Casey and Baruth need to understand the terminology, Not to be infringed upon.

    Despite their fear and attempts to control Vermonters the Constitution is Law.
    And they are violating it.

    • Jim, you are correct in your assessment of how these elected officials are violating their oath of office regarding the Constitution. However, this is not exclusive to Vermont. Elected officials’ violations of oath of office are widespread and go right up to the top echelons of even the federal government, including POTUS. As is evident by the state of our society, the values that have been the glue in keeping the country united are circling the drain. The results of the mid-term elections have been very revealing. Could it be that things in the US have not yet deteriorated to the point where patriotic, committed voters will say, “Enough is enough !” and be motivated enough to really do something to turn things around?

    • Jim,

      They know exactly what they are doing. Don’t play their games. What you say is entirely true, it is also how they wanted you to answer. Donovan? Seriously, that’s like calling Mao and asking for help.

      In persuasive speech, If we say it, it’s a lie. If they (the public) says it, it’s true. Better to ask as a question.

      Do thieves prefer to rob a house with an NRA sign or Bernie for president?
      Do thieves prefer to rob soft targets or hard targets?

      We need to be wiser than snakes and more innocent than doves.

      There could be a great little campaign commercial on this theme, displaying how Burlington has become the crime center for Vermont, the homeless center……it would be fun, powerful and true. We don’t need to be the “mean” person. Memes crush. Soft words break bones, crush them to powder.

      • I wasn’t playing any game Neil. I did not expect any positive result from either Janet Miller or or Donovan.
        I did expect Sheriff Hill to perform his duty, but he failed completely, passing it off as Donovans responsibility.

        I don’t consider anything I do to be fun or a game.
        But I will continue to be a voice for there unborn, children and those who are under attack from anyone who is failing or trying to oppress them.
        As you have seen in my comments.
        You are appreciated, as are all those who speak up.

        • I know Jim, and totally respect your position. In life I’ve learned being right doesn’t mean winning, I know you weren’t playing a game. By game, I mean strategy, war games probably most accurately, because they are at war with us, a subversive war.

          Sometimes in the “war” game it’s easier if you let them punch themselves out; it you give them, allow them enough rope to hang themselves, publicly.

          They have little truth and little love in their hearts. They construct the narrative; they control the oxygen in the room. A comedian takes the oxygen and shows how incredibly crazy the idea is, and memes are the kryptonite of lies and hatred.

          This is what I mean by fun. The VTGOP could have a field day of memes, bumper stickers, bringing people together around truth and love…..watching the other side hang themselves. When I say comedy, it’s more truth bombs, that take the argument out of insane positions that get traction on their controlled media.

          Vermont is a tough nut to crack, that is most certainly true. It can be done.

        • This is their narrative for multiple reasons, all of which you know well. We play defense, not saying we shouldn’t defend. It just doesn’t affect Vermonter across party lines. Many as you well know don’t even know the difference between a democracy and a republic. So there is a heavy lift.

          Housing is Vermont’s (one of) most pressing issues.

          VTGOP should have a contest and suggest a mandate. 12 new homes in every town under $250,000 for ownership. Winning for most green, most practical, most affordable $1,000,000 to the town. No grant money, tax money or “non” profit money can be used. Second prize $500k and Third $250k.

          If a town doesn’t get it done within 2 years, built. $500,000 tax for each of the two years. If it’s wealthy town and doesn’t get it done $2,000,000 in tax for both years.

          Build back better can’t do this. Vermont “can’t do this” because we are under occupation of said “you will own nothing and be happy crowd”. Bernie’s introduction to our state of soviet style home building has created the largest, most corrupt housing system known to man. How can earning $42k a year be considered poverty? That’s what they say in Burlington.

          This would be fun, it would be creative and allow the free market to find some great solution. We’d have housing. The VTGOP would be for the people, which they are….but this would be offense.

    • I find it hilarious that they use “shall not be infringed” in their abortion amendment. So the do know what shall not be infringed means. Since they know and we can’t infringe on their right(s).
      I won’t let them infringe on mine by not obeying any new gun laws they pass.

      • I noticed that and thought they’re either stupid, or shoving it in our faces. I no longer care what new unconstitutional edict Montpelier passes – it will be ignored in my household.

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