A Vermont shooting range has banned Burlington police in protest of a city council gun control proposal.

The national debate over gun control got very local for police in Burlington, Vt., earlier this month, after an area shooting range barred officers from practicing on its premises. The move came in protest of the city’s proposed ban on certain assault weapons.

The resolution, which the Burlington City Council recently voted 10-3 in favor of, would ban assault-style firearms and large-capacity magazines within city limits. Similar initiatives have gone before city governments across the United States even as President Barack Obama met with law enforcement officials to discuss gun control measures Monday.

The ban wouldn’t go into effect until 2014. However the 400 member club voted 6 to 1 to deny the local police the use of the gun range. This action, of course, puts the police in the middle. It wasn’t their decision one way or the other to restrict assault-style firearms and large capacity magazines with in city limits.

Is the gun club in the city? Why would a gun club in inside city limits? I can certainly see why the city residents don’t want assault weapons in the city. Cities have a higher density population.

The good folks of the Lamoille Valley Fish & Game Club have not given their point of view or said why they care what goes on in the city of Burlington, Vermont. I do not believe the city ordinance affects any of the events at their facility. Meanwhile, the Burlington police are caught in the middle.

Ah ha! Here is a statement of the gun club’s concerns, courtesy of

The leadership of the Lamoille Valley Fish and Game Club explained that it’s “difficult” for the club to support the city — even its officers — given the actions of the 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,” said Bob Boivin, chairman of the Lamoille Valley Fish and Game Club.

“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 said.

Well, that seems like a reason for concern if there are no by-passes to circumvent the Burlington. This is also an area that could be negotiated. Those passing through the city could be allowed to bring their guns providing the guns are in their cases and the magazines are also put away in a case. That seems like a simple compromise that would appease everyone.

Why aren’t they talking about it?

30 Thoughts to “Vermont gun club bars Burlington police from range practice”

  1. Clinton S. Long

    Because they are a private club and individual members have the right to protest government action and can peacefully join together for the protest.

    It comes down to the city of Burlington will need to fund its own shooting range for its police to practice at. Every decision in life has consequences.

    I am not for or against the action but we should support the exercise of the right to protest government action.

    1. @Clinton, I don’t deny them their right to protest. I just think they are real jerks. Protest on.

  2. Clinton S. Long

    Or to quote someone (it is open for debate whether it was Voltaire, Patrick Henry or just an author)–

    “I may not agree with what you say, but I shall defend to my death your right to say it”

  3. Steve Thomas

    Moon-howler :@Clinton, I don’t deny them their right to protest. I just think they are real jerks. Protest on.

    Please consider this: As a private gun club, they have a membership, and they have an obligation to protect the interests of their membership. If, as a courtesy and in the interests of being civic-minded, they allowed the local PD use of their range, they are performaing a service to the local government, and the taxpayers. Should that same city then vote to limit the rights of the members of that club to own certain firearms, the club should oppose this with all legal means at their disposal. You may think they’re “real jerks”. In counterpoint, if they continued to allow the city access to their private facility, while the city is simultaneously working against the interests of the membership, the managers of the club would be hypocrites.

  4. Elena

    just some thougts from parents who lost their amazing wonderful child, no different from my own children, from the link above I posted:

    His kindergarten teacher recently wrote to us: “He is the kind of student that should come wrapped in ribbon because he is a gift to his teachers. I can remember leaving notes for our substitute to ‘ask Daniel’ if she or he needed help with anything.”

    Motivated by Daniel’s empathy and kindness, one of our relatives created a Facebook page, “What Would Daniel Do?,” to inspire others to reach out as our youngest son did.

    Our son’s future was stolen from him: There will be no firehouse, no more rock band, no Boston Marathon.

    But if our nation uses this moment to make the future brighter for other children, Daniel’s life and the lives of his classmates and educators will have meaning for years to come.

    Our nation’s ability to deal with gun violence is limited only by the civility of our discourse, the scope of our ambitions and — as Daniel would have done — our willingness to come together and take action.

  5. Steve Thomas

    Yes, that is sad and I feel for any parent who loses a child, especially a child who is the victim of a crime. Let’s look at the other side of the equation, when guns are used to defend life, where a mother lawfully used her firearm to defend both her and her daughter’s life, against three home invaders:

    1. Again, the woman had every right to defend herself. Is someone saying she shouldn’t?

      I don’t think self defense is what any of us here are talking about.

    1. He should have shot someone who robbed him. Good job. I am certainly not suggesting that this man should be disarmed.

  6. Steve Thomas

    Moon, I am glad you believe that these actions by armed citizens were justified, but I think you missed my point. Whether a gun-owner or not, any rational person would agree that Newtown, Aurora, and other such spree killings are tragedies, and the assertion that bans of certain firearms would prevent such events in the future is quite debatable, one aspect of the overall discussion is being (IMHO) deliberately squelched: the fact that lawfully armed citizens use their firearms to protect themselves and their families every day in this country. In fact, some studies place this at up to 2 Million times per year. This is missing from the narrative being spun by most of the MSM, and those politicians and groups trying to limit firearms ownership in this country. Our president never talks about it either. He talks about his “love of skeet shooting” and “deep respect for the tradition of hunting” in this country, as if the 2nd ammendment has anything to do with protecting sportsman’s rights. Never does he mention the fact that violent crime rates are the highest in those places with the strictest gun laws…such as his home town of Chicago, and his current city of domicile, DC. His buddy Rahm Emanuel is now calling for pension funds to pull their investments in gun manufacturers. David Bloomberg has been trying to get guns banned for years, even engaging in a criminal conspiracy here in Virginia, in an effort to push his agenda. NY Gov. Cuomo’s quote “You don’t need more than 7 bullets to kill a deer” speaks volumes of these elitest attitudes. I get it. These people don’t like guns. While they tool around with armed security details, we are supposed to get by with a call to 911. While studies by the CDC, John Lott, and the Cato institute all demonstrate that crime decreases when citizens are armed, and the inverse, crime increases when citizens are disarmed, the MSM is complicent in under-reporting cases where a citizen used a gun to stop a crime. Local news will most likely cover it, because it’s usually big news in a local area. The national media? Not so much. But let there be a victim of a crime where a gun was used…it’s national news. It’s fodder for an anti-gun politicians press conference. Here’s my view:

    It’s the middle of the night, and my dogs start barking at the sound of breaking glass. I dial 911, and I grab my .357. Three men enter my home, intend on who-knows-what. The average response time for MCPD is 7 minutes. The response time for my .357 is 1800 feet per second. Guess which one I am betting will get to the bad guys first?

    1. I don’t believe that your right to own a .357 is being questioned.

      I believe the deer remark is because hunters always come up with comments that indicate someone is preventing them from hunting.

  7. Steve Thomas

    Here’s a link to a study by the CATO institute (hardly a right-wing think-tank):

  8. Censored bybvbl

    The NRA has fought the CDC’s study of gun violence so why should the public believe gun advocates’ statistics and the agenda that they back? Put all the data on the table for discussion and not merely the NRA’s.

  9. Steve Thomas

    @Censored bybvbl

    Well, one could wonder why the “Center for Disease Control” was using taxpayer funds to study something that isn’t a disease. Sure, they tried to hide it under the broader category of “injury prevention”, but the study was found to be flawed and agenda driven. Since you posted a link, here’s mine:

  10. @Censored bybvbl
    Because the gun owner’s statistics come from the FBI, CDC, and ATF, and from studies done by researchers like Kleck, that actually started out as a pro gun control person and found out that reality didn’t match his preconceptions.

    The money for the CDC was cut for promoting gun control, not studying the causes of “gun violence.” It was a cut of about 1 million dollars in a billion dollar budget. Those involved were quite clear about their anti-gun agenda.

  11. Steve Thomas

    Wish this blog had a “Like” button. I’d have hit it for this statement.

  12. Censored bybvbl

    Maybe the study would have advocated more control, maybe not. Maybe it could have advocated registration or maybe not. It appears to have been squelched because the NRA was afraid that it might advocate control of certain types of weapons. Why not get the data and then sort it out? One can’t argue with a straight face that the NRA was for anything other than anything goes as far as Joe Blow’s right to bear arms…

  13. Censored bybvbl

    @Steve Thomas
    My cousin and niece – who weren’t wearing seat belts and were thrown from vehicles that subsequently were squashed or rolled – would probably agree with you that the CDC had no right investigating seatbelt use and safety. Others of us who were saved by the belt are thankful that they did get involved in health issues other than “disease”.

  14. Steve Thomas

    @Censored bybvbl
    Sorry that your cousin and niece were ejected from their vehicles. Seatbelts and helmets are just smart things to wear. While I always wear mine, and have no problem with carseat laws for children, I do believe for adults, it should be a matter of personal responsibility, not a law. Afterall, if someone doesn’t want to wear one, they aren’t going to wear one.

    I’ll bet this kids dad was glad his son had access to an AR, and knew how to lawfully use it:

  15. Censored bybvbl

    @Steve Thomas

    They were probably saved by being thrown clear of the vehicles. But for every person who may survive under those circumstances, there are others who died.

    The NRA is good at promoting the instances you and Cargo cite. What it probably doesn’t include in its articles is a follow-up about how that person feels years later particularly if he or she kills someone and particularly if he/she didn’t seek some other avenue of escape or if the burglar is unarmed and would leave. A person who kills will probably second-guess his actions for the rest of his life. Even soldiers who are trained for combat suffer from their experiences. It’s easy to say “Grab the gun! Someone’s broken the window” but it’s much harder to live with the results of your actions. George Zimmerman probably wishes he had stayed in his truck.

  16. Steve Thomas

    @Censored bybvbl
    “The NRA is good at promoting the instances you and Cargo cite. What it probably doesn’t include in its articles is a follow-up about how that person feels years later particularly if he or she kills someone and particularly if he/she didn’t seek some other avenue of escape ”

    This statement could just as easily apply to a different arguement. Substitute Plannned Parenthood for NRA…. but I digress.

    I’d rather be around to suffer the potential “mental trauma” of my actions, than be dead…or have my wife and daugher be dead, or have them have to mourn over my casket, or have to deal with “mental trauma” from being assualted. Oh, and one last point: I have been shot at, while in uniform, and shot back. Nowhere near what the troops went through this last time in Iraq or in Afghanistan, but close enough.

  17. Censored bybvbl

    @Steve Thomas

    It just seems tiring – and depressing – to sit around and dream up scenarios where you or your loved ones are under assault. I’ve lived in what used to be one of PWC’s rougher neighborhoods and as a woman, I didn’t live my life in dread. I believe Faux News traumatizes its viewers with all manner of horror which can suddenly happen to them at any time. I believe that if a person thinks that his or her neighborhood is too dangerous and that mayhem or a gun battle awaits at every turn, then he or she should get a second or third job and buy the hell out of Dodge to a safer community. If all the fear is in his or her noodle, then that’s a tougher scene to escape.

    I’ve known someone who shot a person in the line of duty. There’s always that “Do not kill” edict that a person faces on judgement day if that’s part of one’s belief system. Their excuse better be a damn good one.

  18. @Cargosquid

    If it is public money, how can it be gun control money? That is absurd. Sorry, not going to drink the kool aid.

    Actually, reading something like this just makes me want to put my head down and give up in totally disgust.

    Just total disgust.

    I know I have no power to affect any change but at this point I hope the entire NRA agenda crashes and burns. The inability to give an inch is just unconscionable.

  19. @Censored bybvbl

    My daughter was also saved by the belt. It was recognized by the State of Virginia.

  20. @Steve Thomas

    Could the kid have shot the home invader with any other type of gun? I am guessing yes.

    Why was a 15 year old given access to an assault rifle? Does that bother anyone but me?

    15 year olds, by definition, are not mature and really shouldn’t have access to assault weapons, in my humble opinion. Of course there are exceptions but generally speaking, most Americans would agree that 15 years olds are not to have access to guns, especially assault weapons.

  21. @Moon-howler
    Public money to advance gun control.

    The NRA, along with millions of other gun owners, have already given an inch. What are the gun controllers willing to give up? That IS what compromise means. The EXISTING compromises are satisfactory. Why should we give more control to the gov’t for something we disagree on. Convince us that you are right.

    And I really don’t have to be lectured about gun safety and responsibility by this gun running administration.

  22. @Moon-howler
    15 year olds, I think are able to go hunting with rifles. It is not against the law for him to have access to it.
    An AR is nothing more than a semi auto rifle. If you feel that he should not have access to guns at all, why should it matter which gun he could have shot the intruder.

    I’m glad that he had ANY gun to defend himself.

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