Carter: Gun Law Challenge

As a hunter and gun owner, I understand and appreciate the historical, cultural and practical significance of the right to bear arms under both the Second Amendment and Article 16 of Vermont Constitution. As a constitutional rights lawyer, however, I also appreciate the fact that these rights are not, and have never been, absolute. And it’s from both of these perspectives that I view the recent lawsuit filed in Vermont Superior Court challenging Vermont’s new law limiting firearm magazine capacity. Rather than challenging the law under the Second Amendment, like many other gun rights advocates, the Plaintiffs in this case are pursuing their claims in state court under Article 16 of the Vermont Constitution – which makes sense because under our federal form of government, the Vermont Supreme Court gets to define the meaning of Vermont constitutional rights. That is, no state law or constitution can provide less protection […]

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