Vermont was once a free state. Having spent 4 years in neighboring Washington County NY and working in Bennington, I am shocked by this new law.
of the Twilight Zone
I am not a lawyer and, from past experience, it would be difficult to get a lawyer to commit to an interpretation of the law. Perhaps if you pay for legal advice.... Anyway, this is just my personal reading of the law as enacted.
I didn't see anything in the bill that would exempt competition shooters unless they are coming into the state to compete. It doesn't seem to me that the law would allow a Vermont resident competitor shooting in Vermont to buy standard capacity magazines for competition.
There are exceptions for law enforcement and so on, but, If you are a competitive shooter living in Vermont and you don't already have the magazines, my reading is, you can't buy them either in Vermont or outside Vermont and bring them in. You might be able to squeak by if you were to buy them somewhere else, bring them in for competition, then take them out again, but I think that is questionable. There is a provision that if they are brought in for competition, they have to be lawfully owned by the person in the state in which they live. So, the situation the law has in view is competitors from out of state.
Same for local manufacturers as the law forbids, explicitly, the manufacture of standard capacity magazines from my reading of it. That is unless they are selling them out of state. If you are a Vermonter, they cannot sell to you.
You can buy standard capacity magazines IF the FFL has them in stock already. If not, you can't order them after the law is in effect, which it is now. Some FFLs are in a quandary. Does having inventory or stock mean only what is in the store as of the day the law is signed into effect or does it include inbound orders that are in flight? It hangs on the interpretation of "lawful possession".
There are some who are hoping for a legal challenge based on the Vermont Consitution which has it's own version of the 2nd Amendment, but, frankly, I think that is exceedingly unlikely to be mounted, or, if mounted, to be successful.
However, there has been little interpretation or clarification. As a lawyer told me once regarding gun laws in general and specifically in Vermont, it depends on how the court adjudicates it.
It also seems that the exemption for competition is repealed July 1, 2019.
So, you make you choice and you take your chances.
of the Twilight Zone
Yep. If you have it, you can use it, if you don't, forget about it!
Been vacationing on Lake Champlain literally my entire life. We used to go up 3-4 times a year. This will be the first summer of my life I don't go up. Bummer but VT is off the list till they vote this trash out and unfuck their gun laws.
The question I was asking is if you're allowed 15 round pistol magazines, can you put them in a pistol caliber carbine, considering rifles are limited to 10 rounds?
Can you put 15 round AR-15 magazines in a AR pistol but not a rifle?
of the Twilight Zone
Sorry I missed your question. Here is my take on it. The law does not address those situations directly.
The law reads this way. Notice it says nothing about "use". Regarding possession, mags you own on or before the day of the Act are exempted, but only regarding "possession".
(a) A person shall not manufacture, possess, transfer, offer for sale,
purchase, or receive or import into this State a large capacity ammunition
(c)(1) The prohibition on possession of large capacity ammunition feeding
devices established by subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to a large
capacity ammunition feeding device lawfully possessed on or before the
effective date of this section.
So, if you own the magazine legally, you can use it.
I suppose you could split hairs and say, if you do not own any Glock pistols and you order 15 round Glock magazines for the use in a pistol caliber magazine that takes them, you might be on the wrong side of the law, but it seems to be a loophole to me.
As for the AR pistol, I thing it would depend on how the AR pistol is classified, as a long gun or handgun for the purpose of the 4473. The law uses those terms.
(A) more than 10 rounds of ammunition for a long gun; or
(B) more than 15 rounds of ammunition for a hand gun.
So, I would say, if you could buy 15 round magazines for an AR that is categorized as a handgun for the purpose of the 4473, then you have another loophole.
However, I'm not a lawyer.
of the Twilight Zone
It's not called Act 94.
of the Twilight Zone
Here is the latest from VTDigger, a local news site. This quote regarding obtaining magazines is not accurate. It's the "otherwise obtained" part that is not accurate.
I cannot, for example, obtain the magazines by ordering online prior to October 1. Nor can an FFL order them for me. They can, however, sell me what they have in stock until October 1, 2018. I ability to order magazines in higher capacities than stipulated in the law ended at midnight the day the law was signed. Indeed, if I had had an order in flight it could be argued that I violated the law upon receiving it if it arrived after the legislation was signed into law. I heard from my FFL of people whose unshipped online orders were canceled once the legislation was signed.
"The ban on possession exempts magazines purchased or otherwise obtained before October 1, 2018, when the ban comes into effect."
There are groups mounting a legal challenge to the capacity restriction portion of the law. My local FFL is one of the plaintiffs.
Given that other states have similar restrictions which have not been struck down or perhaps even challenged, doesn't speak well for the success of the effort. Although this is being based not on 2nd Amendment protections at a federal level, but on a similar provision in the state constitution.
"The Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and four other plaintiffs are suing the state over a ban on large capacity gun magazines.
The federation, a gun association, several sporting goods stores and a woman from Bethel allege that a new law putting a cap on magazines violates the rights of gun owners under the Vermont Constitution.
The new state statute, signed into law by Republican Gov. Phil Scott last week, bans the sale, possession or transfer of long-gun magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds and handgun magazines with a capacity greater than 15 rounds. The cap does not apply to law enforcement.
The ban on possession exempts magazines purchased or otherwise obtained before October 1, 2018, when the ban comes into effect.
Last month at a Statehouse rally, gun rights activists threatened to sue the state over the provision before lawmakers finalized passage and Scott agreed to the measure.
Today, they made good on that threat.
The lawsuit asks the Washington County Superior Court to halt the enforcement of the new law.
Chris Bradley, the president of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, which has 16,000 members, said in a statement that popular rifles and pistols on the market come “standard with magazines in excess of these new limits.”
The standard capacity for the popular AR-15 semi-automatic firearm, for example, is 30 rounds; for pistols, the number is 17 rounds. Thousands of Vermonters own high-capacity magazines, Bradley said, which are “commonly used for competitive sport shooting throughout the State, and many citizens also rely on them for home defense.”
The new law violates Article 16 of the Vermont Constitution, which protects citizens’ right to bear arms, Bradley said, and “prevents the state from requiring law-abiding Vermonters to defend themselves and their families with sub-standard firearm magazines.”
“We are confident the courts are going to quickly strike down this obviously unconstitutional ban,” Bradley said.
The lawsuit was filed in Washington County Superior Court in Montpelier Wednesday morning.
Brady Toensing, a lawyer from Charlotte with the Washington, D.C.-based firm, DiGenova and Toensing, is representing the plaintiffs, which include the federation, the Vermont State Rifle & Pistol Association, Powderhorn Outdoor Sports, Locust Creek Outfitters and Leah Stewart, a gun owner from Bethel. Toensing declined to comment.
The plaintiffs are seeking an order from Judge Mary Miles Teachout that would compel the state to refrain from enforcing the ban and allow gun owners and businesses to buy and own high capacity magazines.
The defendants include Matthew Birmingham, the director of the Vermont State Police; TJ Donovan, the Vermont attorney general; Sarah George, state’s attorney for Chittenden County and David Cahill, state’s attorney for Windsor County.
The lawsuit says the law is “unenforceable” because there is no tracking system in place for magazines. The high-capacity rounds bear no markings that indicate the date of manufacture, for example.
As a result, gun owners can simply go to New Hampshire to buy magazines and circumvent the law, Toensing writes.
During testimony on the bill, the attorney general’s office said the ban would be difficult to enforce. Nevertheless, Donovan said he still supported the provision.
The magazine ban is also an “impediment to self-defense,” the plaintiffs say in the rural state of Vermont where law enforcement response times can be slow, especially late at night when Vermont State Police troopers are off duty.
In addition, the gun shops and the Vermont Rifle and Pistol Association, say they will be hurt financially by the ban.
The dealers will no longer be able to sell the “standard” size magazines to customers in Vermont. That important part of their local businesses will suffer because they anticipate Vermonters will go out of state to buy the devices and ammunition.
The Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and the Vermont Rifle and Pistol Association, sponsor clinics for high power rifle use and state and National Rifle Association shooting championships.
The lawsuit says the ban will curb participation in the shooting matches, limit the number of competitors from other states, and ultimately result in less income for the clubs.
The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action is backing the lawsuit. The gun rights organization said in a statement that the magazines banned under the Vermont law are “owned by millions of law-abiding Americans.”
Chris Cox, executive director of the institute, said in a statement that “nearly half of all magazines in the nation would now be deemed ‘large capacity’ by Vermont.”
“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,” Cox said. “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.”
In a response to a request for comment about whether the NRA would be paying legal bills for the case, Toensing said in an email that he doesn’t “answer questions about [his] fees.”"
I hope Magpul goes up and does the same thing they did in Colorado. Every manufacturer should flood the state with magazines at cost. Bury the fucking place in them.
of the Twilight Zone
They did give them away before the law was signed. There was a giveaway at the state house and my FFL had a ton of them they ordered.
However, at this point, after the law has been signed, it would be illegal to bring them into the state and give them away.
I don't have much hope for the legal challenge, but perhaps it will open a window of opportunity preventing the law from being enforced until the end of the lawsuit. If that happens the state will be flooded with magazines.
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