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Vermont Gun Control Laws

Gun control laws are a contentious issue. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment establishes a personal right to possess a firearm for lawful purposes. Since then, federal and state gun control laws have faced legal challenges. Congress and state legislatures have also debated a new wave of gun-related legislation.

While state gun control laws differ in their detail, there are some common features. Purchasing and possessing firearms for self-defense or recreational purposes is usually legal. Using a gun to commit a crime or carrying one in restricted spaces (schools, courthouses, prisons, etc.) is universally prohibited.

Gun Control in Vermont

Vermont's state constitution guarantees people the “right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the state." The state has few laws restricting ownership or possession of firearms. There are no permitting, registration, or licensing requirements in the state either.

The state has always taken a hard line on unlawful firearm activity. Vermont makes it a crime to carry a dangerous weapon with the intent to injure someone. Using a gun to commit a felony or firing a gun while aiming it at someone are offenses too. Negligent use of a firearm can earn you up to five years in prison. There are also prohibitions on selling or furnishing guns to minors under the age of 16 without parental permission.

The following table provides a quick summary of Vermont gun control laws:

Relevant Statutes (Laws)

Vermont Statutes, Title 13, Chapter 85, Sections 4001 through 4061
  • Possession of dangerous or deadly weapon in a school bus or school building or on school property - Section 4004
  • Zip guns; switchblade knives - Section 4013
  • Persons prohibited from possessing firearms; conviction of a violent crime - Section 4017
  • Large capacity ammunition feeding devices - Section 4021
  • Bump-fire stocks; possession prohibited - Section 4022

Illegal Arms

Vermont has few restrictions on the types of firearms a person can own. Vermont prohibits:
  • Bump stocks
  • Large capacity ammunition feeding devices, except for feeding devices lawfully possessed before April 11, 2018
  • Zip guns

Waiting Period

Vermont has no waiting period between the purchase and delivery of a firearm.

Who May Not Own

Vermont has few prohibitions on who may own a firearm. The following people may not possess firearms in Vermont:
  • A person who has been convicted of a violent crime
  • A person who is subject to an extreme risk protection order or another court order that prohibits possession of a firearm

License Required?

Vermont does not require a license to own a firearm.

Concealed Carry License Required?

Vermont does not require a license to carry a concealed firearm.

Open Carried Allowed?

Open carry is legal in Vermont, and no license is required to open carry.

Eligibility for a Concealed Carry License

Vermont does not require a license to carry a concealed firearm.

Machine Gun Laws

Vermont does not prohibit the possession of machine guns. However, federal law generally prohibits machine gun possession.

Penalties for Illegal Firearm Possession

Although Vermont has limited prohibitions against possessing firearms, the penalties for unlawful possession can involve incarceration. Below are the penalties for violating Vermont's firearm possession laws:
  • Possessing a bump stock carries a potential penalty of up to 1 year imprisonment and up to a $1,000 fine
  • Possessing a large capacity ammunition feeding device carries a potential penalty of up to 1 year imprisonment and up to a $500 fine
  • Possessing a zip gun carries a potential penalty of up to 90 days imprisonment and up to a $100 fine
  • Possessing a firearm after being convicted of a violent crime carries a potential penalty of up to 2 years imprisonment and up to a $1,000 fine

Penalties for Illegal Possession on or Near School Grounds

Knowingly possess a firearm or a dangerous or deadly weapon while within a school building or on a school bus is punishable by imprisonment for up to 1 year and up to a $1,000 fine. A second or subsequent offense is punishable by imprisonment for up to 3 years and up to a $5,000 fine.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

Talk to an Attorney for More Information

State gun control laws are subject to change. Anyone with more specific questions related to a particular case should consider contacting a Vermont criminal defense lawyer.

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