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: Firearms Rights Activists Meeting  ( 3366 )
Chris Santee
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« : March 14, 2013, 10:19:42 AM »

Firearms rights activists from all over Vermont will meet with the Governor's representative today at 2:30 at the ceremonial office of Governor Peter Shumlin.  Following Wednesday's gathering of gun control advocates in the Cedar Creek Room, activists representing firearms owners from all over Vermont will deliver thousands of signed petitions and formal letters opposing the many bills now being considered by Vermont's legislators.  Opposition has been building since the introduction of a bill "banning so-called assault weapons" by Sen. Baruth of Chittenden county.  That bill was quickly defeated by the outpouring of opposition from Vermont gun owners.   Citing Vermont's Constitution, specifically Article 16, activists say that bans on certain types, configurations and features of modern sporting rifles is prohibited by the state's constitution as well as recent United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) cases such as Heller v. District of Columbia and McDonald v. Chicago.  These recent precedents change the landscape of 2nd amendment law and, under the 14th amendment, the SCOTUS has stated that they will strictly scrutinize how far states may go in restricted the bearing of arms, especially for self defense.
 
Statewide groups also solidly oppose proposals such as requiring trigger locks, waiting periods for gun purchases and shifting liabilies to lawful and constitutional firearms use.  "Telling Vermonters that they have to keep a lawfully owned weapon locked and therefore unavailable for self defense in their own homes is especially dangerous to women and children who need to protect themselves from home invasion, assault and rape attempts", said Bill Moore of Johnson.  Citing the Heller case, Moore says the SCOTUS has specifically called these types of restrictions dangerous intrusions into the right of self defense, calling such uses the "essence" of the right.  Waiting periods are especially dangerous, because young women, the elderly and the disabled are likely to find a specific and unexpected need to arm themselves in response to a new danger.  Vermont has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world, and the lack of violent crime speaks for the free ownership and use of weapons for self defense.
 
Rob Roper, President of the Ethan Allen Institute agrees the proposed legislation this year is ill founded.  "Vermont's existing gun laws are the solution, not the problem."  Roper is preparing to offer a proposal for firearms safety education in Vermont schools.  Moore has authored a proposal to support the teaching of Vermont's Constitutional history to children.  They both say that the teaching of responsible and safe firearms use lowers teen suicides and prevents gun accidents in the home. 
 
Firearms activists have asked the Speaker and legislators why they are not having a serious discussion about the access to mental health services and mental health crisis management opportunities for families.  Opposition to national legislation is growing nationwide and Vermonters are no exception.  Further efforts towards opposing President Obama's proposed restriction on guns and gun owners continue to be coordinated at gun shows, at the local sporting clubs and shooting ranges.  "We are energized and activated, the sleeping bear has been poked with a stick" concludes Moore. 

Groups attending the meeting today will include the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, Vermont Traditions Coalition, Vermont NRA, Gun Owner's of Vermont, P.E.A.C.H. (People exercising their constitutional heritage) and 2A Vermont.  Newer groups have linked up with the older more well known organizations like the NRA.  They will be having a dialogue with Vermont's congressional delegation in coming weeks and expect Vermont's representatives to protect their freedoms against unconstitutional and ineffective laws at the national level.  On February 23rd 700 to 1,000 gun rights supporters gathered on the statehouse steps to speak and organize.  This followed a recent gun control group rally which only attracted 200-300 people according to press reports.

Take Care & God Bless,
             chris
csantee@myfairpoint.net
(802) 849-2758
(802) 782-0406 cell
www.TheFairfaxNews.com
Chris Santee
Hero Member
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: 2653



« #1 : March 15, 2013, 07:35:24 AM »

Combined total of petitions and formal letters delivered to Governor Shumlin's office at the statehouse Thursday: 4,995
The combined efforts of these groups, thousands of Vermonters and the open welcome by statewide leaders made this meeting possible.  Special thanks go to the Vermont Traditions Coalition for their assistance in arranging the meeting with the Governor's office.  We also wish to express our gratitude to Lewis Porter for his time and energy.  By forming these ad-hoc coalitions on shared issues, grassroots groups can be a powerful voice on behalf of Vermont gun owner's.

We wish to express our thanks to those who have or will be covering this event.  Inquiries are welcomed at 802-644-2017 or 802-888-9390.
 
Thank you for your attention in this matter,  William Moore

Take Care & God Bless,
             chris
csantee@myfairpoint.net
(802) 849-2758
(802) 782-0406 cell
www.TheFairfaxNews.com
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