Ammunition Regulation in Vermont

Vermont law prohibits any person, firm or corporation, other than a parent or guardian, from selling or furnishing any ammunition to a minor under age 16.1 Federal law, however, imposes stricter age requirements on the sale of ammunition.

Vermont does not:

See our Ammunition Regulation policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 4007. ⤴︎

Background Checks in Vermont

See our Background Checks policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires federally licensed firearms dealers (but not private sellers) to initiate a background check on the purchaser prior to sale of a firearm. Federal law provides states with the option of serving as a state “point of contact” and conducting their own background checks using state, as well as federal, records and databases, or having the checks performed by the FBI using only the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. (Note that state files are not always included in the federal database.)

Vermont is not a point of contact state for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Vermont has no law requiring firearms dealers to initiate background checks prior to transferring a firearm. As a result, in Vermont firearms dealers must initiate the background check required by federal law by contacting the FBI directly.1 Vermont also does not require private sellers (sellers who are not licensed dealers) to initiate a background check when transferring a firearm. See our Private Sales policy summary.

Notes
  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Instant Criminal Background Check System Participation Map, at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/general-information/participation-map (last visited Aug. 19, 2015). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Vermont

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Vermont has no law requiring firearms dealers to obtain a state license or permit.

For information about the Vermont law requiring firearms dealers to maintain records of sales, see the Vermont Retention of Sales/Background Checks Records section.

Vermont has no law requiring dealers to conduct a background check on prospective firearm purchasers, although the federal background check requirement applies.

Design Safety Standards for Handguns in Vermont

Vermont has no law imposing design safety standards on handguns.

See our Design Safety Standards for Handguns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

According to research conducted by the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence (now Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence), Vermont’s Attorney General may have the authority to regulate junk guns, as well as to promulgate other firearms safety standards.1

Notes
  1. The Vermont Consumer Fraud Act, Vermont Statutes Annotated title 9, § 2453. For details, see Legal Action Project, Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, Targeting Safety (2001), at http://www.bradycenter.org/xshare/pdf/reports/targetingsafety.pdf. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Vermont

Vermont has no law:

  • Prohibiting individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition, although federal law applies;
  • Requiring courts to notify domestic abusers that they are prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition;
  • Requiring the removal or surrender of firearms at the time a domestic violence protective order is issued; or
  • Requiring the removal of firearms at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

In 2015, Vermont enacted a law prohibiting individuals who have been convicted of a violent crime from possessing a firearm.1 The definition of “violent crime” includes domestic violence misdemeanor offenses including domestic assault, stalking, sexual assault, and aggravated assault crimes.2 Under Vermont law, “domestic assault” only includes offenses against family or household members,3, but misdemeanor stalking, sexual assault, and aggravated assault offenses against any person would trigger the firearm prohibition.4

Though Vermont law does not prohibit individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition, Vermont does provide that a court issuing a protective orders for family or household members may make such orders as it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff and/or the children.  The Supreme Court of Vermont has found that this provision authorizes the court to prohibit a defendant from possessing firearms.5

When a subject to a protective order is required to relinquish firearms and ammunition in his or her possession to a law enforcement agency or an approved federally licensed firearms dealer.6 The court issuing the protective order may order that the subject of the order relinquish the firearms and ammunition in his or her possession to someone other than a law enforcement agency or approved federally licensed firearms dealer, unless the court finds that the relinquishment to the other person will not adequately protect the safety of the victim.7

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. See 2015 VT S.B. 141, enacting Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 4017. ⤴︎
  2. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, §§ 4017(d)(3), 5301(7). ⤴︎
  3. See Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, §§ 1042-44 ⤴︎
  4. See Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, §§ 5301(7), 1062-63, 3252-53, 1024. ⤴︎
  5. Benson v. Muscari (2001) 172 Vt. 1, 769 A.2d 1291 (interpreting Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 15, § 1103(c) ). ⤴︎
  6. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 20,  § 2307(b). ⤴︎
  7. Id. ⤴︎