Courts & Corrections

VTDigger/Castleton poll: Vermonters support concealed carry permit for guns

Guns pollVermont should require permits to carry a concealed weapon, according to more than half of voting Vermonters surveyed in a VTDigger/Castleton Polling Institute poll.

The poll found 57 percent of voters support changing Vermont’s concealed carry gun law. Thirty-nine percent do not and 4 percent declined to answer.

In Vermont, it is legal to carry a firearm openly or concealed without a permit. That law is one of several state statutes that make Vermont one of the most permissive states in the U.S. with respect to firearms.

Burlington voters earlier this year passed three local laws that restrict firearms ownership. The state Legislature opted not to approve those local laws this session.

Advocates on both sides of gun control issues are gearing up for a showdown in Montpelier next session, as some groups plan to propose tightening gun laws and gun rights groups prepare to stake their ground.

Gun rights groups and anti-domestic violence advocates this session, not without much back-and-forth, compromised on a provision to encourage safe storage of guns removed from alleged domestic abusers.

Nearly half of voters polled own firearms, the survey found. Results found 47 percent of voters own guns while 50 do not. Households earning between $81,000 and $100,000 were most likely to own firearms, the poll found. Sixty-one percent of those households said they own firearms.

In Chittenden County and southern Vermont, most voters do not own firearms, whereas more than half own them in northern and central Vermont, the poll found.

Opinions about guns also split down party lines, poll results show.

Sixty-six percent of Republicans own guns, while 69 percent of Democrats do not, according to poll results.

Slightly more than half of Republicans do not want to change the concealed carry law whereas 80 percent of Democrats do.

More women, 66 percent, said they want to change the concealed carry law. Of male voters, 46 percent said they support a change.

Methodology used by Castleton Polling Institute

This report is based on data from 682 interviews drawn from a random sample of registered voters in Vermont. Interviews were conducted by phone by from March 31 to April 7, 2014. Thirteen percent of interviews were conducted with registered voters on cellphones.

For a sample of this size, the margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level is +/-4 percent, although the margin of error is larger for questions involving subsamples of respondents. Although sampling error is only one source of potential survey error, precautions have been taken to minimize other sources of error for this poll.

The data reported are weighted based on estimations of the population of Vermont registered voters to account for differential in response rates among age groups.

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  • Paul Lorenzini

    Just carry your gun openly. Be a gunslinger. It is not against the law to carry, only to carry in a sneaky way. That sounds fair to me. Be wary of the man with a permit, for he is permitted to be sneaky.

    • Jason Knapp

      It’s actually NOT against the law in vt to carry concealed. I’m curious to know the reason behind you thinking it is sneaky to want to carry concealed…it says nothing in the constitution about how you have to carry your arms.

      • Paul Lorenzini

        I thought you needed a permit to carry concealed. Good to know, thank you! I am all for the constitution! I am totally against it being rewritten.

    • Paul – are you talking about thugs or law abiding citizens?

      • Paul Lorenzini

        It is mostly thugs, and capitulators that carry concealed, for their own law abiding right. Just my opinion.

        By the way Ray, “law abiding citizens”?, are those the folks that lead us, by the ring of law through our nose, with a whip on the behind if they wish it so?

        A law will not prevent evil doers from concealing their arms, only intimidate freemen from having the courage to protect themselves and their kin.

        We all want to be “law abiding citizens.”

        But laws, of the stupid, fear inspired sort, prevent us from that.

        Welcome to the New World Order!

  • I knew they wouldn’t stop in Burlington. Gun registration always leads to confiscation.

    There is one thing about this issue that forces me to think, “people have forgotten about why they are free”. Now, I’m not talking just about guns here. I am talking about all our Constitutional Rights. Hopefully there will never come a day when we have to get a permit that would allows us to speak freely.

    Getting a permit is having to ask the Governments permission to carry a firearm. It states in the 2nd amendment, “the rights of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed”. Our State Government, if they intend to carry thru with this, are breaking the law. They can only do this if “we the people” sit idle and do nothing. Once again we are being forced to fight for our Constitutional Rights.

    The anti gun people will not stop. They would confiscate all guns today if we did not have constitutional Rights. These “baby step” laws are the intended approach to finally get us to confiscation, which history will show, from every other Nation in the world, registration is always followed by confiscation.

    It’s a slow turning wheel. It is sweeping across our Nation. Neighboring State, such as NY, have moved toward and have attempted registration of certain kinds of guns, claiming, associating them with military weapons. The people refused to comply, burning the registration forms.

    We do not need this law. If people were truly Liberty loving Americans and honored our Constitutional Rights this pole would never have been made. Now, I will expect Main Stream Media to chime in on this to start the fear mongering required to shift any percentages their way. I’m sure there will be a big push by Mike Bloomberg and his crowd, the Governor from NY that supports a group of anti gun people here in Vermont and also, the man who planned and pass the SAFE law, which greatly regulated firearms. Bloomberg has big money. Him and others that support him will not stop till they have stripped us of our 2nd amendment rights. It’s like what California Senator Diane Fienstien said on the floor of the House and on public TV, “if I could get the votes in the House I would do it, Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in.

    Will they get the votes in the House here in Vermont?

    • Wayne Curley

      If you’re going to use the 2nd Amendment as a prop, try quoting it correctly:

      A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

      Folks like to conveniently leave out the first part to help bolster their argument. The Supreme Court has consistently made the wrong interpretations on the 2nd – my opinion.
      Perhaps Ray can be more specific when he talks about, ” These “baby step” laws are the intended approach to finally get us to confiscation, which history will show, from every other Nation in the world, registration is always followed by confiscation. ” Where and when did this happen? Every? Always? And Ray you’re not WE the people, you’re just Ray – One of the people.

      • Wayne, your opinion and a buck might get a cup of coffee somewhere. From DC vs Heller:

        The Supreme Court held:[44]

        (1) The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2–53.
        (a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2–22.
        (b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court’s interpretation of the operative clause. The “militia” comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved. Pp. 22–28.
        (c) The Court’s interpretation is confirmed by analogous arms-bearing rights in state constitutions that preceded and immediately followed the Second Amendment. Pp. 28–30.
        (d) The Second Amendment’s drafting history, while of dubious interpretive worth, reveals three state Second Amendment proposals that unequivocally referred to an individual right to bear arms. Pp. 30–32.

        • Desperately seeking Heller …

          Let’s take a quick look at the District of Columbia et al v. Heller case upon which so many nowadays seem to be hanging their “any gun, any time, any where” approach.

          Before I do, however, I want to point you to the two dissenting decisions in this 5-4 US Supreme Court decision for reasons I will state below. Justice Steven’s dissent (joined by Souter, Ginsberg and Breyer) can be found at, and Justice Breyer’s dissent (joined by Souter, Ginsberg and Stevens) can be found at

          You will definitely want to return to those dissents.

          Now on to the majority opinion which was penned by Justice Scalia (available at …

          The first thing to understand is what that opinion explicitly states:

          “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues.”

          And more importantly:

          “Because Heller conceded at oral argument that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement. Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.”

          The reason you need to read the dissents is because it is painfully obvious that the prevailing Justices agreed to a form of English usage that should make any sentient creature cringe. According to the majority Justices in a sentence containing two clauses the first clause has nothing to do with the second clause other then to confirm it has nothing to do with the second clause – no – I kid you not: you don’t have to get far into the prevailing decision to find that (see items 1. a & b).

          Another reason for reading the dissents is to see the difference between the fanciful “if only” version of history the majority came up with as opposed to the actual history reflected in the dissents. Specifically you can see the fanciful effort on display in the majority decision’s item 1. d which talks about three 2nd Amendment proposals that WERE NOT adopted while the dissent talks about the proposal that DID get adopted as well as various state constitutions and those actually adopted items.

          The Heller majority managed to find a twisted rationale for a pre-determined fanciful conclusion regarding a federal private right to gun ownership that still allows for reasonable licensing and restrictions on use and possession.

          • Robert Ries

            SC dissents do not equate to legal limitations.

            The militia clause is not a limiting condition or a prerequisite, in grammar, law or history. if you think it is, cite to the evidence that supports your opinion.

            The dissent in Heller notably failed to do so.

          • Robert Ries

            P.S. Please show me your First, Fourth, Thirteenth and Twenty-Sixth Amendment licenses/permits. Or a valid reason why you don’t have them.

      • Robert Ries

        The “first part” is NOT a prerequisite, in grammar, law or history.

        If you believe otherwise, cite your supporting evidence and facts.

      • David Frenkel

        Vermont also has a State Constitution:

        Vermont 1777: “That the people have a right to bear arms for
        the defence of themselves and the State—and as standing armies
        in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be
        kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict
        subordination to and governed by the civil power.”

        It explicitly includes the right for personal defense, and not just that of the State.

      • Kyle Kubs


        The second part of the sentence, being a quanifier for the first, which part of “the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” do you think is being misinterpreted? There aren’t a hell of a lot of words there, it doesn’t seem vague to me at all.
        If you had any knowledge at all of the constitution and had ever read the writings of Washington, Jefferson, Adams, or the others who drafted the document and what their arguments were for making the second amendment to it, you would have to be delusional to draw any other conclusion but that the common people have rights to bear arms and those rights are not to be infringed upon by any part of the government, in any way, shape or form. You can try to twist and spin the words all you want but they are never going to mean what you obviously want them to.

      • John McClaughry

        I have studied Second Amendment history for years, and there is nothing more clear than that the Framers, taking note of the gun control episodes in British history, universally believed that freemen must be armed – in Vermont, ” for the defence of themselves and the state” (Ch I Art 16 1777).
        A well regulated militia is composed of the armed freemen 18-55; it would be hard to imagine a militia without the (free male) citizen’s right to keep and bear arms.

  • John Grady

    Some outfit claimed they took a poll and claim the results are something or other.
    There is no over sight so the results mean nothing.

    Probably 99% of people hang up on people calling and people can and do lie. I lied it to somebody taking a poll.

  • The first question the pollster should ask is:

    “Are you aware of the details of VT gun laws?”

    If a person has no previous familiarity with our laws — they are learning new information AND putting forth an opinion at the same time.

    The writer describes our treatment of firearm issues as “permissive” — but it is worth mentioning — and perhaps counter-intuitive to many — that VT has the lowest firearm murder rate in the US — 0.3 per 100k pop. This number is obviously corrected for population — but NOT gun ownership — which as you can see above is almost half of all households.

    • Eddie Cutler

      Your right Edward. The question is misleading. I once went around my place of work and asked this kind of question. Most people did not even know you could carry concealed without a permit. This leads me to believe that the people who do not know this looked at the question and said yes to go forward and allow people to carry.

  • Poll and spin and skew all you want, requiring permits to carry a concealed weapon in Vermont was ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL. But, of course, you didn’t tell your respondents that.

    “The result is that Ordinance No. 10, so far as it relates to the carrying of a pistol, is inconsistent with and repugnant to the Constitution and the laws of the state, and it is therefore to that extent, void. ”

    • Ainslie Place

      Yeah, it was ruled unconstitutional in 1903. Times change.

      • But rights don’t.

        As we prepare for the next session in Montpelier, I point you to noncompliance levels with gun laws in NY and CT. The new gun laws are being defied on a massive scale.
        I caution you against moving for new gun laws that we WILL NOT OBEY.
        I have already pledged my best effort to defeat one area legislator on this issue alone.
        Others will do likewise.
        Do NOT move against our rights. We will vote you out.

        • Eddie Cutler

          Eddie Garcia you can count on the 3800+ members of the Gun Owners of Vermont who will be voting against legislators who vote for any gun control.

    • John McClaughry

      As I recall, the Rosenthal case was about a permit to carry, whether or not concealed.

  • Ed Fisher

    Vermont polls ? ,Now that’s interesting ! Hey I know , lets pull a” Chicago !” Lock up all the guns , make them illegal , …..if you want ! Now watch the crime rate rise like Chicago , like NYC , LA. , I have no interest in the liberal media’s opinion of concealed or non-concealed carry . What interests me though, In the NEK , we can be a half hour from a 9-1-1 police presence ,so we have to be able to protect our own homes , One problem that bugs me is , recurring domestic violators , take their guns permanently ! Why don’t we punish the criminal and not the law abiding gun owner ! I am a law abiding sportsman , I have never been arrested for anything , Why is the media so soft on the absolute failures of our penal system , law enforcement and of judges soft on crime and punishment ?

  • Ed Fisher

    And another thing ; I don’t understand how anyone can still believe the accuracy of “polls “, so many of them are born of an pre- judged ,agenda !

  • Kristin Sohlstrom

    Polls are only sometimes helpful. Mostly they are useless. As long as you realize that reality, you’ll see that you are being played like a fiddle and your emotions are being used to change existing law in VT – again.

    682 people do NOT speak for all of any population in any situation. Were YOU polled? I wasn’t.

    When the NRA came out the other day supporting the right for permit carriers to have their permits cross state lines but didn’t address what to do with states who do not require a permit to carry, my initial gut reaction was “Vermont Carry is in trouble.” These folks are nothing if not predictable.

    If you are an NRA member, I would strongly suggest you question what your dues are paying for.

  • sandra bettis

    yup. let’s arm our children too – next thing you know, they’ll all be carrying guns to school. “yippee, we’re all gonna die!”

    • Sandra, when I was a kid in school, it was not that unusual for boys who hunted to bring their hunting rifles to school, on the buss, leave them in the principals office for the day and to be dropped before their regular stop so they could walk through the woods and hunt on their way home.

      I notice we had no mass shootings or the like when this was going on, interesting…

      • Paul Lorenzini

        Back when the government trusted it’s citizens, and when the citizens trusted the government.

        Times have changed since 9/11, and not for the better.

    • Wow. That is a very compelling argument and you have certainly changed my views.

    • Robert Ries

      No-one suggested that…. except you. Projection, much?

  • sandra bettis

    paranoid people with guns….something to aspire to…..

    • Sandra – you just insulted half the people in the State of Vermont with your remark – you watch to much Main Stream Media – think about not having your 1st amendment rights then you will understand how 2nd amendment defenders feel about “ALL” those Constitutional Rights. This is not just about guns!

      • Neil Gerdes

        yet here you are, reading the “Main Stream Media” and commenting on it. Go back to your tea party.

        • sorry Neil but this is alternative media

        • Robert Ries

          If your political party does not believe in Rights, you’re doing it wrong.

    • Robert Ries

      Who’s paranoid here? We’re not the one who think everyone with a gun wants to murder us….

  • Bob Pierre


    Did it ever dawn on you to find out and report the “Why” VT does not require a permit?

    Journalism 101

    There is no “law” about it because of a SCOVT ruling from the early 1900’s. It is based on the VT Constitution, not a (or lack of) legislative action.

  • Kristin Sohlstrom

    I will also add that by making absolute statements like this is not accurate because the reality is it’s a percentage of the people polled, not all Republicans and not all Democrats.

    “Sixty-six percent of Republicans own guns, while 69 percent of Democrats do not, according to poll results.”

    Also, percentages tell people nothing. I would like to know how many individual people in each region were polled. Is this poll talking about 50 individual people in Southern Vermont and 400 in Chittenden County?

    Why is Castleton comparing regions to a county? That’s comparing apples to oranges.

    How were the 13% of respondents with cell phones validated as being Vermont residents?

    There are so many issues with the poll from a data level that it’s alarming Vermont Digger would give it any credence.

  • Carl Fyrdman

    1) The first question may draw false negatives, in that some people may not want to admit (to someone they don’t know) that they own a firearm.
    2) The second question should be rephrased as: “Would you support a law that allows the police and politicians to be the ones who decide whether a law abiding citizen can have a concealed handgun?”

    In fact, imagine the revised second question ended with “..for the defense of themselves and their loved ones?”
    The phrasing is crucial and will affect responses. I think that IF Castleton really wants a fair poll, they ought to at least request input in the phrasing, from one of Vermont’s firearm communities, such as the Federation of Sportsmen.

    If the Federation were involved, I would be much more likely to believe the poll was unbiased.

    • Paul Lorenzini

      Well, almost anything that comes from a VT college, related to politics, will have the liberal utopian agenda behind it. ALMOST ANYTHING. There are some constitutional kids in school, but they are drowned out by the Al Gore disciples.

  • Dave Van Deusen

    As a Vermonter, as a Town Constable, and as a person who is a Progressive, I am 100% against curtailing our traditional gun rights. This right is protected by the Vermont Constitution. Also there is no objective reason to change our gun laws. As a society, Vermont has, on average, less than ten murders a year, with some of these not even committed with a gun. So why would one seek to fix something that is not broken? I would assert there is only one reason… Misguided allegiance to ideology: “gun control” as part of the liberal mantra we hear from points south of us. And you know what the result of passing gun control in Vermont would be? It would simply give ammunition to the right wing folks in Vermont, and would serve as a wedge issue that would be used to alienate working class voters from the political parties that are more apt to represent their economic interests. As a Progressive, I myself could not vote for a candidate that supported gun control.

  • Chris Weinheimer

    Vermont, along with Arizona, Alaska and Wyoming are the only “constitutional carry” states where citizens are not required to have permits to carry concealed weapons. However, Vermont is unique in that there is no permit, concealed or otherwise, available to Vermonters. Under Vermont law anyone from any other state or jurisdiction can carry a concealed weapon in the State of Vermont.
    Most states make concealed carry permits available, on a “shall issue” basis to residents of the state. Some states issue “concealed carry” permits to non-residents. Concealed carry permits issued by a state are given reciprocity by many other states in much the same way that driver’s licenses are recognized throughout the United States. Because Vermont does not issue a “concealed carry” permit to its residents there is no permit by which other states can grant reciprocity to Vermonters. I short, anyone from anywhere can carry a concealed firearm in Vermont but Vermonters have this right only within Vermont borders.
    The lack of a permitting process in Vermont results in an inequity for Vermonters. The State of Alaska resolved this problem by instituting a permitting process that allows Alaska residents acquire permits on a voluntary basis to gain reciprocity with other states. Alaska residents do not have to obtain permits to carry concealed firearms within the State of Alaska. A similar approach should be considered for Vermont.
    There is no evidence to suggest that the issuance of permits would lead to confiscation. If a government wants to engage in that activity it will – permits or not. However, there is substantial evidence that the incidents of crime and accidents involving firearms among permit holders in infinitesimal. Due to the training requirements for permits in other states, it could be argued that, permit holders are better qualified to safely own and use firearms than the average gun owner.
    Let the debate continue.

    • Robert Ries

      And yet, in Vermont, people who own and carry without a permit are still NOT a problem. Why add a layer of bureaucracy on top of something that already works just fine? The problem is that other states need to follow Vermont’s lead, or be sued for denial of Constitutional Rights.

      • Chris Weinheimer

        Quite right. Vermont has arguably the best record in the nation when it comes to gun violence. HR 822 the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 failed to make it out of the last session of Congress. However, the NRA continues to support the passage of this type legislation which would require states to recognize the concealed carry permits of all other states. Without a concealed carry permit special provisions would have to be made in Federal law to accommodate the lack of availability of Vermont issued concealed carry permits for Vermonters. While it would be good if all other states were like Vermont there seems little chance that that will happen any time soon.

  • Ok, nice conversation going here. I would just like to add, the gun-o-phobes (and I say this about those organized and fighting to take our guns) are people from out of State, as I mentioned above. I don’t think many of our Legislators have a problem with the way our gun laws are now. My Representative, Cindy Weed, a Progressive, loves to shoot and target practice. This action has been brought to us in a box from States South of us, their ideology, their money, there special interest group but it is our State Sovereignty they are coming after, another good reason to fight this.

    Our County Sheriffs need to stand up and protect us from these tyrants – where are they?

  • I would only add one more comment here. In the photo at the top we see what is known to shooters and Sportsmen as a “hand cannon”, a 45 caliber magnum. This is not a gun that a normal law abiding citizen would chose to “conceal carry”. This is from vtDigger, the “unbiased” journalist.

    • Robert Ries

      Ummm… not quite. It’s a .460 S&W Magnum, usually used as a hunting hand-gun. It’s definitely a bit more powerful than ‘needed’ for self-defense, but could be highly effective in some circumstances.

      Fortunately, ‘concealed’ is not a requirement for Constitutional Rights.

  • Kyle Kubs

    Once again, the anti-gun minions in Vermont are a solution looking for a problem…
    Coming in to the elections, the RNC & DNC will do anything they can to draw divisions between the people of this state, to set them against each other and keep them distracted from the monopoly the hold over our elections, and non existent gun issues are a great way to divide and conquer.
    I implore you all, don’t let the spin doctors set you off and put you to work against your neighbors and family. Forget the labels, Republican/Democrat, liberal/conservative/socialist/this & that. Talk to your neighbors & family about why our politicians are no longer, in any way, representative of the people. Learn to see through the manipulation, the propaganda & the double talk. Learn to see who is being placed in an office to carry out a corporations agenda that is not representative of the way you want to live or raise your children. The snake oil salesmen are vying for control of your lives and using tools like this article to keep us infighting & distracted so we don’t have time to see what they are doing, all the while telling us they are on our side. They are both working for the same interests, the corporations, the giant global banks, the pharmaceutical & biotech companies.
    It’s time to crush their stranglehold on our government and elect independent candidates from among the people.

  • Jason Knapp

    We must stand against this gun control. Please people, get involved! Write your senators and reps!!

  • Jim Christiansen

    Poll reporting is a disappointing replacement for journalism. The subjective topics do nothing but reinforce the stereotype of a biased media looking to drive the news rather than report it.

    How long should I hold my breath for a VT Digger / Castleton poll on Vermonters opinions on restrictions to third trimester abortions?

    Care to drive that news Digger?

  • Pete Novick

    I was in Tennessee last month, settling my father-in-law’s estate. One day, I went to Walmart to pick up a few items to get his house ready for sale. It was a little after ten in the morning. I got what I came for and headed for an express checkout line and found one with only one other customer. As I placed my four items on the belt, I saw the customer in front of me, a white male in his 50’s, was carrying a semi-automatic pistol in a quick draw holster on his right hip. I tried not to stare, as another customer queued up behind me: a woman with two pre-school kids in the shopping cart. They were having a good time and helping their mom put items on the belt for checkout.

    I found the experience deeply disturbing. This is not the America I want to live in.

    My statistics professor back in the day might have put it this way. What is the probability of someone discharging a firearm in Walmart if no one in Walmart has a firearm? I think you can figure that one out.

    And what is the probability of someone discharging a firearm in Walmart if at least one person in Walmart has a firearm?

    The answer is: a number greater than zero. And that’s too big a number for me.

    Still, before Vermonters get the urge to regulate how and when people may carry concealed weapons, they should keep in mind that Vermont’s gun laws predate the US Constitution, and have served Vermont well.

    According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, Vermont has one of the lowest rates of handgun violence in the United States and it has been that way for a long, long time.

    So, as some in the state legislature seek a solution still in search of a problem. I say, leave well enough alone.

    • Robert Ries

      1. What is a “quick draw holster”? I’ve no idea what you are talking about… and I suspect you don’t either.

      2. “This is not the America I want to live in. ” Really? You do not like freedom and liberty? Than I suggest you create a new America elsewhere. There are many places to choose from already….. And as you later pointed out, it’s not actually a real problem. So why the initial hyperbole?

      3. “My statistics professor back in the day might have put it this way. What is the probability of someone discharging a firearm in Walmart if no one in Walmart has a firearm? I think you can figure that one out.” Ah, I see the problem. You think that life is supposed to be as safe as possible, with nothing uncomfortable or risky anywhere in it. I know your type. (Pro-tip: the pistol was quite safe in the holster. The chances of it self-discharging while holstered are essentially zero. If you knew anything about guns, you could “figure that one out”.)

      4. your entire post is the very definition of “concern troll”. I’ll let you also “figure that one out”.

    • Chris Weinheimer

      Many people find that an openly carried handgun is disturbing when carried by someone in civilian clothing. This fact alone argues for the concealed carry of firearms. I wonder, how many concealed firearms go unnoticed? How many concealed fire arms have been accidentally discharged in public places lately? Had there been any they would have made memorable news headlines in Vermont. As to the man in Tennessee we can be reasonably assured that he had a permit issued by the State of Tennessee. To acquire that permit in Tennessee he had to demonstrate the following:
      • Applicants shall not have been convicted of any felony offense punishable for a term exceeding one (1) year;
      • Applicants shall not currently be under indictment for any criminal offense punishable by a term exceeding one (1) year;
      • Shall not be currently the subject of any order of protection;
      • Shall not be a fugitive from justice;
      • Shall not be an unlawful user of or addicted to alcohol or any controlled substance and the applicant has not been a patient in a rehabilitation program or hospitalized for alcohol or controlled substance abuse or addiction within ten (10) years from the date of application;
      • The applicant has not been convicted of the offense of driving under the influence of an intoxicant in this or any other State two (2) or more times within ten (10) years from the date of application and that none of such convictions has occurred within five (5) years from the date of application or renewal.
      • Shall not have been adjudicated as mental defective; has not been committed to or hospitalized in a mental institution; has not had a court appoint a conservator for the applicant by reason of a mental defect; has not been judicially determined to be disabled by reason of a mental illness, development disability or other mental incapacity; and has not, within seven (7) years from the date of application, been found by a court to pose an immediate substantial likelihood of serious harm because of mental illness;
      • Shall not be an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States;
      • Shall not have been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions Having been a citizen of the United States, applicants shall not have renounced their citizenship;
      • Shall not have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence Shall not be receiving social security disability benefits by reason of alcohol dependence, drug dependence or mental disability;
      Having met these tests it sounds to me as though the man with the gun was probably a pretty good citizen.

      • Jason Knapp

        Actually there was a negligent discharge of a fire arm in public and it was done by a Williston police officer,yet not on by the public they serve. Imagine that mr Tennessee…

  • sandra bettis

    vermont has the most lax gun laws in the nation. anyone can buy a gun and that is why criminals from out of state come here. i would hope to see the legislature stand up to the nra the way that they stood up to vga/monsanto. the gun lovers in this state like to try to intimidate the gun safety people with their ‘big weapons’.

    • Linda Wysocki

      VT gun shops have to follow the laws of the states where non-residents live, so your statement that anyone can buy a gun is false. I’m also surprised nobody is talking about the costs associated with concealed carry licensing. In CT its over $250 for a permit.

      • sandra bettis

        anyone can buy a gun in vt. there are no restrictions on private sales and no registration laws in the state of vt.

        • Paul Lorenzini

          DO YOU ACTUALLY THINK THAT CRIMINALS WILL REGISTER THEIR GUNS SANDRA? that sure would be a deterrent to people with evil intentions.

  • sandra bettis

    i love the walmart analogy. it is pretty much the same as mine – a gun in the first act goes off in the third – proven way too many times to count.

    • Kyle Kubs

      You remind me of a child sitting in a room full of PhD’s talking Quantum Physics. You have no understanding of the subject at all, but still feel the need to weigh in. You obviously have nothing useful to contribute.

      Having people that know nothing about guns making decisions about who should be allowed to have what and how they should be allowed to use them, is like taking a group of people that have never even seen an automobile up close, much less driven one, making up the rules of who should be licensed and how & what they are allowed to drive.

      • sandra betttis

        a room full of phd’s?? rotf!!! i would say that it is the people who won’t budge in the interests of safety who are the ones with nothing to contribute. and, no, i don’t watch mainstream tv and, no, i’m not from out of state. talk about assuming…..

        • sandra – when I am in my own home, I would never budge in the name of safety. Nor outside my home if some thug was meaning to do harm to innocent people. You may not watch MSM but your narrative comes right off their script.

  • Pat McGarry

    If we’re going to fix things that aren’t broken in Vermont, in addition to requiring concealed weapon permits, we should adopt the following Massachusetts laws:

    A police permit required for rifles and shot guns.

    A police permit required for pepper spray.

    No beer and wine sales except in inner city liquor stores.

    A requirement that only uniformed police officers may direct traffic at construction sites.

    No longer allow a Vermont doctor’s judgement to be sufficient to issue a disabled parking placard. Require Vermont DMV to hire 40 full time medical doctors and take an average of 8 weeks to review a disabled parking placard application (as they do in Massachusetts).

  • To those who carry a Bible in one pocket and a handgun in the other, I have to ask: If guns were around in Roman times, would Jesus have carried one to protect himself and followers against big government intrusions on his right to free speech and on the right of the people to keep and bear arms ?

    • Jason Knapp

      This has nothing. To do. With Jesus!

      • Oh yes it does. Jesus preached peace and love. Unfortunately, many of His so-called believers are working hard to strengthen the gun lobby, a lobby which spends millions to keep tighter gun laws off the books using, along with intimidation, an antiquated interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. Jesus would cry for the innocents gunned down at Columbine, Aurora, Fort Hood, the US Navy base near DC, and New Town, and for the negligence of our governments in trying to prevent such slaughter.

  • Ed Fisher

    It is extremely disappointing to see the amounts of misinformation thrown out here , A few Facts ;
    1- No ,not anyone can purchase a gun ,legally !
    2- I have watched gun dealers actually deny a sale just because they have a gut feeling !
    3-Every gun sale in Vermont gun stores and gun shows , waits for a federal background check on the phone- before your purchase !
    4- The media is the problem and not the solution to these constitutional issues!
    5- And so is the individual state and city governments!

  • Patrick Cashman

    Did the Castleton Polling Institute conduct a poll on any other Constitutional Rights? Such as:
    “Would you support a change in legislation that forbids speech offensive to the listener, or do you believe in maintaining the concept of freedom of speech as it is currently interpreted?”
    Or perhaps “Would you support a change in legislation mandating the quartering of security personnel by homeowners during national emergencies, or do you support maintaining the proscription against forcible quartering of soldiers as it is currently enacted?”
    More importantly, if they had, should a public opinion poll of the majority have any bearing on the individual rights of the minority?

  • Robert Ries

    I’d like to see Permits, Licenses and Fees required for all of our Constitutional Rights. Just to keep everything consistent. What could go wrong with that?

  • Bill Olenick

    VT= lowest gun deaths in the nation=guns unregulated outside of federal background check=if its not broken don’t fix it… period=do not let the press hype you all up.

  • Andrew Fischer

    A few comments:

    1. More people have died from guns in the United States since 1975 than U.S. soldiers died in all of World War II.

    2. We have a higher death rate *per capita* from guns than the next 22 nations in our economic group, *combined*.

    You don’t think there’s a problem?

    Perhaps you should research what happened in Britain and Australia when they put sensible gun laws into place after gun massacres in those countries and solved their problem overnight.

    I have some insights for all of the NRA members on this list:

    1. The NRA cares about selling more and more guns to what is a shrinking pool of buyers. It’s an industry trade group, nothing more.

    2. As the VT Digger poll shows, you are the minority now. You may be loud, but you are the clear minority. So I doubt you are going to scare too many politicians as this fact sinks in with them.

    3. The majority that wants sensible guns laws, of which I am a part, feels like our rights our being violated as our schools are locked up like prisons and our neighbors are shot and murdered every day, even in Vermont. In the past 10 days the Free Press has had 8 gun murders or serious incident stories.

    4. You don’t get any weapon you want, just because the 2nd amendment exists. Last I checked you are not allowed to carry a nuclear bomb.

    We all have rights. The increasingly large majority believes ours are being violated. It’s not just about you. I encourage you to be sensible and responsible citizens and sportsmen.

    • Amy Corrigan

      Interestingly, the next 22 nations in our economic group also protect their borders.

      In Los Angeles, over 90% of the outstanding warrants for homicides are for illegal aliens. About 11,000 of the 17,000 outstanding fugitive felony warrants are for illegal aliens.

      80,000 to 100,000 illegal aliens who have been convicted of serious crimes are walking the streets.

      Good luck with the ‘Our rights are being violated so we’re going to take away your rights’ argument.

  • So, this argument is going to continue. It will go the way of the bogus polls being conducted. There will be fear mongering by MSM. People have already been scared by the constant drum beat of “guns are bad”.

    There has been no change to our Vermont Constitution or the US Constitution. Yet, our Governments are violating these rights, under the vail of fearful constituents. Our Government is BREAKING the law thru the use of Democracy and fear, fear fabricated and directed toward Law Abiding citizens.

    When our Reps took their oath of office they swore to “protect and defend” the Constitution. Due to influences from out of our State they are neglecting to consider their violation of their oath of office and siding with special interest groups. They are kicking the Constitution to the curb, moving away from the law and further eroding our freedoms. This cannot be allowed to go on.

    Aside from these Unconstitutional gun laws, we have people in our State illegally that are gathering at the State House to petition our Government and influence them to change laws that protect us from just this sort of criminal entry into our country. Again, our Government is breaking the laws of immigration. Non-citizens have no right to assemble to petition our Government, locally or at the Federal level, but it is being allowed and encouraged.

    The Democrats and the Progressives are behind this, the so called “Liberals”. We either need to put them out of office or go to Montpelier and arrest them for their violations – we cannot allow this to continue.

    All gun owners and supporters of the Constitution must form together. It is time to put all other interest aside and organize or the gun-o-phobes will roll over the top of us over and over again till they get confiscation, making laws that will make anyone with a gun a criminal. We cannot allow this to happen. Once they have the guns they will move against all our Constitutional Rights. At some point we will not be able to say, “our Government sucks”!

    Just like in NY and Conn. we MUST NOT COMPLY to unConstitutional laws.

  • Bob Moyer

    Solution: get rid of the second amendment and end all this argument over common-sense, safety legislation. It is ridiculous to have stronger protections against dangers from automobiles and household appliances than from firearms.

  • Paul Lorenzini


    how’s that for a rebuttal?