WAMC News
6:20 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Burlington Councillors to Consider Assault Weapons Ban

Credit Jonathan James / Flickr

In the wake of the recent school shooting in Connecticut a city councilor in Vermont's largest city has drafted a proposed municipal charter change to ban ownership of assault weapons with high-capacity ammunition clips in the city.


Democratic Burlington City Councilor Norm Blais plans to submit a resolution to the City Council during its January 7th meeting that would prohibit ownership of assault weapons in the city. Blais would prefer such legislation to occur at the state or federal level, but doubts that will occur, so he crafted the municipal measure.

City Council President Joan Shannon, a co-sponsor of the resolution, says Burlington is limited in what it can do to control guns.

Vermont Traditions Coalition Executive Director Steve McLeod is concerned that if individual  Vermont communities are allowed to craft gun regulations, it would lead to a regulatory morass. But McLeod will study and assess Burlington’s resolution.

Implementing an assault weapons ban would take several steps. The resolution would have to be accepted by the City Council. Then, the city’s Charter Change Committee would have to propose changes consistent with the resolution that would then go to public hearings and be placed on the Town Meeting Day ballot. If approved by voters, it would then require approval by the Vermont  state Legislature.