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Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2021 ‘State Right to Bear Arms in Vermont.’ Other Laws & Policies. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 18 June

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State Right to Bear Arms in Vermont

Chapter I, Article 16 of the Vermont Constitution states:

That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence [sic] 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.

In State v. Duranleau, the Vermont Supreme Court rejected an article 16 challenge to Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 10, § 4705(b), prohibiting the possession of a loaded rifle or shotgun in a vehicle on a public highway without a permit. The court began its analysis by stating that article 16 "does not suggest that the right to bear arms is unlimited and undefinable." The court noted that section 4705(b) does not "literally prohibit the 'bearing' of any arms, but only requires that, when rifles and shotguns are carried in…vehicles on public highways…they be unloaded." The court then ruled that the law was not "such an infringement on the constitutional right to bear arms as to make the statute invalid."…

[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]

ID: Q8265

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