View Full Version : Vermont Gun Registration proposal

10-24-2009, 8:48 AM
Finally, A Sensible Gun Registration Plan

Vermont State Rep. Fred Maslack has read the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as well as Vermont 's own Constitution very carefully, and his strict interpretation of these documents is popping some eyeballs in New England and elsewhere. Maslack recently proposed a bill to register non-gun-owners and require them to pay a $500 fee to the state. Thus Vermont would become the first state to require a permit for the luxury of going about unarmed and assess a fee of $500 for the privilege of not owning a gun. Maslack read the "militia" phrase of the Second Amendment as not only affirming the right of the individual citizen to bear arms, but as a clear mandate to do so. He believes that universal gun ownership was advocated by the Framers of the Constitution as an antidote to a "monopoly of force" by the government as well as criminals.

Vermont's constitution states explicitly that "the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State" and those persons who "conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms" shall be required to "pay such equivalent." Clearly, says Maslack, Vermonters have a constitutional obligation to arm themselves so that they are capable of responding to "any situation that may arise". Under the bill, adults who choose not to own a firearm would be required to register their name, address, Social Security Number, and driver's license number with the state. "There is a legitimate government interest in knowing who is prepared to defend the state should they be asked to do so," Maslack says Vermont already boasts a high rate of gun ownership along with the least restrictive laws of any state -- it's currently the only state that allows a citizen to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. This combination of plenty of guns and few laws regulating them has resulted in a crime rate that is the third lowest in the nation.

10-24-2009, 9:21 AM
You know, if he were to limit the fines to people who are liable to militia service under US or VT law, I can't see why such a plan wouldn't be enforceable.

10-24-2009, 9:48 AM
I doubt it will go anywhere, but it makes me smile!

10-24-2009, 9:58 AM
That's from 2001, see here:


Kid Stanislaus
10-24-2009, 12:26 PM
That looks like a real good program for making enemies to me. The 2nd Amendment movement does not need more enemies.

10-24-2009, 3:01 PM

Here is a tale of two cities: one that banned handguns and one that required guns. Guess which town enjoyed a plunge in crime.

In June 1981, Morton Grove, Ill., a northern suburb of Chicago, passed an ordinance banning handguns. In reaction, Kennesaw, Ga., a northern suburb of Atlanta, passed an ordinance requiring heads of households "to maintain a firearm" and ammunition "to provide for the civil defense" and "protect the general welfare of the City and its inhabitants."

"Some people seem to think our residents are not armed," Morton Grove Police Chief George Incledon, told United Press International on Tuesday. The chief pointed out that the law did not prohibit ownership of shotguns or rifles, and that gun collectors were exempt.

Many citizens prefer shotguns to handguns for home defense. Incledon did not define "gun collector." Morton Grove residents could store their handguns outside the village limits or at a licensed gun club.

Moreover, Incledon recalled, out of a population of 25,000, only "a few people, maybe 10," surrendered handguns to police in the months after the law went into effect.

Similarly, Kennesaw's law provides so many loopholes that, in effect, no one is compelled to obey it. Convicted felons are, of course, excluded. Also exempt are those "who suffer a physical disability [undefined] which would prohibit them from using such a firearm" and those who "conscientiously oppose firearms as a result of religious doctrine or belief [also undefined]." Inhabitants may claim exemptions for moral or financial reasons, said Detective Cpl. Craig Graydon, a Kennesaw Police Department spokesman, in a phone interview Tuesday.

According to a National Rifle Association document, the law was not expected to increase gun ownership. "It was expected that publicity surrounding the ordinance would warn criminals that residents were capable of protecting themselves and their community and would do so with the government's blessing," the document said.

The results?

Not much of anything in Morton Grove. "We were fortunate to have a low rate of violent crime before the ordinance was passed, and we are fortunate now that the rate is still low," Incledon told UPI.

But Kennesaw's crime rate plummeted. In fact, the number of some crimes declined amid soaring population growth. For example, in figures the city provided to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, Kennesaw had 54 burglaries in 1981 – the year before the gun ordinance – with a population of 5,242. In 1999, with a population of 19,000, only 36 burglaries were reported.

The rate of violent crime is approximately four times lower than the state and national rates, Kennesaw's Crime Statistics Report said. "Violent crime is almost nonexistent in residential neighborhoods," Graydon told UPI. The detective, who has been with the police department since 1986, said the isolated exceptions take place in motels or in commercial areas.

Graydon said he has lived in the area since 1979 and has heard no open opposition to the gun law. This remains the case even though most of Kennesaw's newcomers are from northern states.

Asked whether the ordinance has attracted new people to Kennesaw, Graydon said: "Not specifically the law itself, but quite a few people cite the low crime rate, which a lot of people do attribute, at least in part, to the gun law."

The detective said Kennesaw used state criteria for carrying a concealed handgun. "It's not that difficult" to get the license, he said. Unlike some other jurisdictions, Georgia does not require permit holders to submit the serial numbers of their handguns to the police. "We don't register firearms down here," Graydon said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Handgun Control's Washington office was invited to comment on Kennesaw's crime statistics. A spokeswoman there replied that no one from the organization could address the issue until after a press conference.

10-24-2009, 5:57 PM
We SHOULD all be armed in some way... Good stuff.

10-24-2009, 9:24 PM
got to love it

10-24-2009, 11:14 PM

Gray Peterson
10-25-2009, 12:01 AM
This proposal (yes I know it's old) is patently unconstitutional for multiple different reasons. Though I support the results of the "Kennesaw experiment", I do not agree with the idea of forcing people to arm themselves with weapons that they may not be comfortable or familiar with.

10-25-2009, 12:05 AM
It's not unprecedented to require people to own and possess arms and accoutrements. The Founders and their contemporaries even passed such a law on the national level, in the original militia act. Granted it was not always enforced, but it was still there. Since it made pretty much all able-bodied men between 17 and 45 a part of the militia, it required them to produce suitable arms and equipment. I don't recall what the penalties were, if any, for failing to comply.

10-25-2009, 12:37 AM
Switzerland requires all households within a certain distance of their border to have an assault rifle and a certain amount of ammo. They also must attend yearly rifle shoots. Sounds cool to me.

10-25-2009, 12:50 AM
The difference is that Swiss militiamen are issued their weapons; they are not expected to provide them as has been the case at various times in the U.S.

Mulay El Raisuli
10-25-2009, 4:46 AM
This proposal (yes I know it's old) is patently unconstitutional for multiple different reasons. Though I support the results of the "Kennesaw experiment", I do not agree with the idea of forcing people to arm themselves with weapons that they may not be comfortable or familiar with.

How about make them buy swords? If they can be safe with a knife, they should be able to be safe with a sword. Then they can play the role of 'cannon fodder' if we're invaded.

Yelling BANZAI!!!! as they do so optional.

The Raisuli

Doug L
10-25-2009, 6:28 AM
...a bill to register non-gun-owners and require them to pay a $500 fee...

Fascinating concept.

I hate to be picky, but, the title of your thread should be "Vermont Non-Gun-owner Registration proposal."