Case Information: Gun Owners of Vermont, Inc. v. Birmingham, et al. (Vt. Super. Ct. amicus brief filed Dec. 17, 2018).
At Issue: In 2018 Vermont passed a package of broadly supported and much-needed gun safety measures, including a law requiring background checks on private gun sales, a law prohibiting the sale of firearms to minors under the age of 21 unless the buyer has completed an approved hunter safety course (or falls under other exceptions), and a prohibition on the possession of bump-fire stocks. Plaintiffs in this lawsuit argue that each of these new measures violates Article 16 of the Vermont Constitution.
Giffords Law Center’s Brief: We partnered with GunSense Vermont on an amicus brief urging Vermont’s Superior Court to reject the meritless challenge to Vermont’s new background check and minimum age laws, as well as its ban on bump-fire stocks like those used in the massacre of 58 people in Las Vegas in 2017. Our amicus brief argues that Plaintiffs’ claims fail as a matter of law because any reasonable interpretation of Article 16 permits background checks that ensure felons and other dangerous persons do not purchase firearms, as well as reasonable restrictions on gun access by minors under 21. In addition, Vermont’s prohibition of lethal bump-fire stocks complies with Article 16 because bump-fire stocks are not “arms” protected by the state constitution.