Case Information: State of Vermont v. Misch, No. 2019-266 (Vt. Supreme Court brief filed October 14, 2019).
At Issue: White supremacist Max Misch was the first person to be charged with violating Vermont’s ban on large capacity magazines (LCMs). He moved to dismiss the charges on the grounds that the LCM ban violates article 16 of the Vermont Constitution — Vermont’s version of the Second Amendment. Though the trial court rejected his constitutional claim, the prosecutors and defendant jointly agreed to appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court for a final ruling on the constitutionality of the law, and the proper interpretation of article 16, before going further with the criminal case.
Giffords Law Center’s Brief: We filed an amicus brief in support of Vermont’s law with the Vermont Medical Society and GunSense Vermont. Our brief argues that Vermont’s law is constitutional under any standard of review, citing the many federal court decisions that have upheld LCM restrictions under the Second Amendment. We then address the grave danger posed by LCMs, both in mass shootings and crime, and explain how Vermont’s law is tailored to address this danger without compromising self defense. We further argue that the Court should construe Article 16 in a manner that respects the Legislature’s traditional authority to regulate public safety, consistent with Vermont text, history, and precedent.