The Burlington City Council will take up a gun control policy this fall, councilors say.
The Charter Change Committee, which was asked to draft a gun control resolution earlier this year, will present the council with five gun control measures on Oct. 21, committee members said.
Though the Legislature may discuss gun control legislation early next year, Burlington must act on the issue because the city has its own gun-related problems, said Councilor Rachel Siegel, P-Ward 3, chair of the Charter Change Committee.
“I think that there are things in Burlington that make it different than the rest of Vermont, and some of these measures will address that,” Siegel said.
The measures would ban assault weapons, restrict those with domestic violence convictions from obtaining a firearm, require a permitting process for concealed weapons, ban firearms from establishments that serve alcohol, and require that firearms be kept “under lock and key,” separate from another locked location where ammunition is kept.
The resolution will be on the ballot in March before the Legislature votes on a required charter change to allow the city to adopt its own policy on gun control. Legislative approval will not likely occur until 2015, Siegel said.
The committee has passed all five recommendations unanimously, Siegel said. The committee is composed of Siegel, Tom Ayres, D-Ward 7, and Norman Blais, D-Ward 6.
After the committee was scheduled to introduce the measures in November, hunters accused Siegel of strategically excluding sportsmen from participating in the discussion because they would be deer hunting when the council meets in November. Siegel said she was previously unaware of hunting season dates and agreed to move the hearing to October.
Mike Kanarick, the mayor’s chief of staff, said Weinberger is reviewing the recommendations and does not have a position on any of them at this time.
According to Title 24 of Vermont statute, municipalities do not have the authority to regulate firearms, which is why the committee must seek a charter change.
In January, following a mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, the council voted 10-3 to ask the committee to draft a weapons ban resolution.