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Challenge to Vermont’s Magazine Ban

From NRA:

Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today announced support for a lawsuit brought by Vermont citizens, sporting-goods stores, and shooting clubs to challenge the state’s recent ban on many of the most popular firearm magazines in America.

“The magazines Vermont has now banned are owned by millions of law-abiding Americans,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. “In fact, nearly half of all magazines in the nation would now be deemed ‘large capacity’ by Vermont.”

At issue in the lawsuit is one of the measures signed into law by Governor Scott on April 11, which bans the possession, sale, purchase, or transfer of long-gun magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds and handgun magazines with a capacity greater than 15.

“Vermont claims its new ban will advance public safety, but we know from other States that have experimented with this type of misguided ban that violent criminals are not going to adhere to the ban. The only people really harmed by the ban are the law-abiding citizens who will now be forced to defend themselves, their families, and their homes from violent attack by using sub-standard ammunition magazines. We are pleased to have been able to support the plaintiffs in this fight to vindicate their rights under the Vermont Constitution, and we expect the Vermont Courts to swiftly strike down this plainly unconstitutional ban.”

Challenging through state court is smart. We’ve had much better luck with state court rulings on the Second Amendment and state analogues than we have with the federal courts. Pursuing this via the First Circuit Court system would have a predictable result: we’d lose.

20 Responses to “Challenge to Vermont’s Magazine Ban”

  1. StephanA says:

    Just as long as the idiots that are making these bogus laws are in states that have the Right to Keep and Bear Arms ensconced in the state’s constitution we have a fighting chance. Use the states courts and get some precedents set.

    That is plan B if we lose to the Kasich gun grab here in Ohio.

    • Joe says:

      Our State Legislature isn’t taking up any anti-gun legislation that I know of.

      You have any info updates?

      Kasich needs to piss off as far as I’m concerned too. Doesn’t surprise me that he’s begging like a lapdog for Bloomberg $Money.

    • HappyWarrior6 says:

      He has been great for gun rights at the state level. That’s his legacy. He would make a lousy president.

  2. Ian Argent says:

    It was a strong interpretation of the VT’s constitutional RKBA clause that got them “Vermont Carry,” wasn’t it? (A hundred years ago, admittedly)

  3. Chris says:

    The problem in Vermont’s legislature is that they are overrun with folks from NY, ma, CT, etc. Most of the senators that supported this bill were not Vermonters. What’s the judiciary look like? The actual words in the state constitution are irrelevant.

    • mike w. says:

      Yup. “What’s the judiciary look like?” is what matters.

      If SB163 gets passed here I doubt we have much luck challenging in State Court. Our Chief Justice is not even remotely on our side, despite a strong state level RKBA.

    • Brad says:

      Yep, we will see how far the rot goes in Vermont. Will the State Courts nullify article 16 of the Vermont Constitution, or will they support it?

      • Shawn says:

        The courts will uphold the ban. Look at what happened in Massachusetts. Or the 9th circuit in general. I have come to the conclusion that whenever it involves guns the judges will shit all over any law that protects something merely of the item in question. Article 16 will be notified because guns. Am I wrong? Hopefully. But of course I think every judge nowadays is basically a mini Roland Freisler.

        • Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

          Yep. Courts consistently fail to do their jobs with gun laws all the time. They do word torture to rule the way they want, because GUNS.

        • HSR47 says:

          Maybe. Maybe not.

          The reason why VT is the only state that has never had a ban on carrying firearms, and has never had a carry permit system, is that the state courts there set a strong precedent.

          While the body of RKBA jurisprudence in VT’s state court system may not ultimately be enough to overturn this latest batch of tyranny, it DOES mean that the chances of us getting a positive outcome in VT courts is likely higher than in many other states.

          On the plus side, if we DO get a positive outcome in the VT state courts, gun control will likely be a dead issue there for 20-60 years.

          • Shawn says:

            No. The court will uphold the ban. There is no question. Judges and courts hate the Second Amendment. They hate gun owners. No matter how plainly the law is written. The judges in this country will go against it because guns.

            Progressives and liberals want us exterminated. The Democrats hate us. Republicans abuse us. And the courts always side with the government.

    • Jeff says:

      This. “Provisions like art. 17 were not directed to guaranteeing individual ownership or possession of weapons. ” COMMONWEALTH vs. HUBERT DAVIS.
      369 Mass. 886 (1976).

      • HSR47 says:

        That’s MA, not VT.

        Also, that makes the MA case law you cite ripe for challenge if it can be shown that the historical record demonstrates that the quoted assertion by the court is not factual.

  4. Brad says:

    Article 16. [Right to bear arms; standing armies; military power subordinate to civil]

    That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State–and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.

    https://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/constitution-of-the-state-of-vermont/

    • Chris says:

      Sweet.

      So long as one cop (“the people”) can possess a pointy stick or musket (“arms”) then there’s no violation of those words.

      That’s the summary of a 20 page opinion to be written by an antigun judge. I think its hogwash but you know that’s the logic that a judge can use to justify just about any ban if that’s what they want to do.

  5. Brad says:

    Reminder: recent poll showed 39% of Democrats support repealing the 2nd Amendment and 44% of Democrats support banning handguns.

    • Shawn says:

      I wonder if you asked how many would support door to door confiscation including killing millions of people to do it. What about turning the whole US military against the people and using tanks and drone strikes to kill gun owners. Setting up extermination camps of gun owners or even the use of nuclear weapons and tell them it would kill 130 million people to get rid of all guns.

      I suspect 1/4th of Democrats and over half of democrats in office and 98% of all judges would support the government (controlled by democrats of course) killing 1/3rd of the country’s population nuclear holocaust style. Such is there depth of there hatred for us.

  6. So the size of magazine used at Parkland is fine. Do these people have brains, or just feelz?

    • Ian Argent says:

      “It could have been worse if he used larger magazines”

      No indication that he had any issues related to more rapid reloads, just the bald assertion.

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