A Vermont gun range has banned the Burlington Police Department from using its facility after City Council voted to advance a proposed ban on semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. And given the fact that such facilities are limited in the area, the move could impact when and where officers can go target shooting.
Officials with the Lamoille Valley Fish and Game Club told Fox News that it is hard for the facility to support the city, which includes police officers, due to the attempted gun grab by City Council.
“We have members in Burlington as well as members of our club that are going to be passing through Burlington and this would directly affect them and we felt that a prejudicial vote like that was going to be non-supportive of our club and being non-supportive of our club makes it very difficult to support Burlington City,” the club’s chairman Bob Boivin said.
“It is a constitutional issue. I mean, it’s not just a Second Amendment constitutional issue; but it’s also a constitutional issue for Vermont. We have laws that have the state governing our gun controls in this area and they’re looking to supersede those,” he added.
Responding to the gun range ban, the Burlington Police Department said in a statement: “It is unfortunate that this important and much-needed community dialogue regarding gun control currently under way in the City of Burlington and across the nation has resulted in this action.”
Burlington City Councilman defended the proposed assault rifle ban, saying in the absence of federal legislation or state law, the city feels the measures are needed “to protect our citizens.”
In addition to the introduced city ordinance being unconstitutional, Bovin says city-by-city gun laws would create problems for gun owners.
“If you’re going to a shoot, say in one end of Vermont to the other, you have to check the laws for every town in between, and you will pass through a half a dozen different towns, and that makes it almost impossible for someone to stay as a legal gun owner, and that’s what we’re concerned about,” he explained.
“The Burlington City Council’s proposal to ban certain assault weapons is far from being implemented. City voters would get a say in 2014. Then the measure would require approval by the Vermont legislature. Finally, if it does become law, it’s likely to face a constitutional challenge from gun-rights advocates,” Fox News reports.
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