Vermont AG asks Supreme Court to uphold magazine ban

This article by Luke Nathan originally appeared Oct. 16 in the Bennington Banner.

The Vermont Attorney General’s Office has filed a brief asking the state’s highest court to determine that a high-capacity magazine ban enacted last year comports with the Vermont Constitution.

Additionally, a group of 17 states and the District of Columbia, as well as nonprofit organizations Everytown for Gun Safety and the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the latter joined by Vermont Medical Society and GunSense Vermont, filed amicus briefs that side with the attorney general’s office.

Max Misch, of Bennington, who was charged in February with two misdemeanor counts of violating the statute after he allegedly purchased two 30-round magazines in New Hampshire and brought them back to Vermont, has argued that the law violates the state constitution’s right-to-bear-arms provision and its common-benefits clause.

Bennington County Superior Court Judge William Cohen rejected that argument this summer and opted not to dismiss the attorney general’s case against Misch, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The state and Misch’s counsel together sought an assessment of the magazine ban’s constitutionality from the Vermont Supreme Court, which agreed in August to consider the appeal.

The law prohibits the possession of magazines that have a capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition for long guns and 15 rounds for handguns, though it does not apply to such magazines lawfully acquired on or before the date — Oct. 1, 2018 — it took effect.

Read full article at the Bennington Banner.

(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)

Image courtesy of U.S. Marshals Office of Public Affairs

One thought on “Vermont AG asks Supreme Court to uphold magazine ban

  1. If one hasn’t read U.S. Judge Robert Benitez’s decision in Duncan v. Becerra,as pointed out in his decision under the simple test of Heller, California’s § 32310 directly infringes Second Amendment rights.

    It directly infringes by broadly prohibiting common firearms and their common magazines holding more than 10 rounds, because they are not unusual and are commonly used by responsible, law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes such as self-defense. And “that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons.” to say nothing of Article 16, Friedman v. City of Highland Park, 136 S. Ct. 447, 449 (2015)

    The argument that is meatiest. Do magazine bans really protect the public? The brief by the attorneys general fails to even acknowledge what Judge Robert Benitez pointed out in the opening of his brief in the Duncan v. Becerra case dealing with California’s magazine ban: there are many times when a gun owner may need larger magazines to protect themselves.

    As two masked and armed men broke in, Susan Gonzalez was shot in the chest. She made it back to her bedroom and found her husband’s .22 caliber pistol. Wasting the first rounds on warning shots, she then emptied the single pistol at one attacker. Unfortunately, now out of ammunition, she was shot again by the other armed attacker.

    She was not able to re-load or use a second gun. Both she and her husband were shot twice. Forty-two bullets in all were fired. The gunman fled from the house—but returned. He put his gun to Susan Gonzalez’s head and demanded the keys to the couple’s truck.

    Judge Benitez recognizes that there are times when a 17-round magazine will come in handy for self-defense, or even a 20 or 30-round rifle magazine. The anti-gun AG’s can’t do that, however, and that’s why their argument is fundamentally flawed. It rests on a false assertion that there’s no reason for anybody to legally own one of these magazines, which is demonstrably untrue. Let’s hope the Vermont State Supreme Court justices read Judge Benitez in addition to these eighteen attorneys general who would infringe upon your 2nd Amendment rights and article 16 in the name of supposed public safety.

    If one hasn’t read Judge Robert Benitez decision,you owe it to do so,as this will be used in many future court cases regarding magazine ban appeals,nation wide.
    I included the link to Duncan v. Becerra below

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