Gunrights

Second Amendment Sanctuary vote Wednesday in Groton

Vote would ban use of town funds to store confiscated firearms

by Meg Trogolo, Community News Service

The Caledonia County town of Groton will hold a special town meeting on Aug. 4 to vote on a resolution that would declare the town a “Second Amendment sanctuary.”

Graphic credit Granite Grok

If approved, the proposal would bar the town of Groton from using funds to store firearms that have been confiscated or are being stored “for the purpose of enforcing any other law that unconstitutionally infringes upon the right of the people of Groton, Vermont to keep and bear arms.”

The resolution cites a number of U. S. Supreme Court decisions as well as Vermont state laws that require background checks for handgun and rifle purchases and prevent people from purchasing firearms under certain circumstances.

Groton resident Dan Webster wrote the resolution, which is two pages long.

In recent years, towns and counties across the United States have passed Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions in protest of perceived threats to gun ownership. The content of the resolutions varies greatly, with some simply affirming local opposition to gun control laws while others establish methods that local governments can push back against such laws.

Groton Selectboard Chair Wade Johnson Sr. said that given current federal and state gun laws, the resolution would not cause tangible changes for Groton if passed.

“I don’t think there’s going to be any difference in how the town government runs,” Johnson said. “It depends on the administration that’s in [federal] office about gun control.”

Both Johnson and Webster expressed concern over the possibility of new federal and state gun laws.

“Our government is not adhering to constitutions. We have a governor that often times just votes whichever way the wind is blowing, and for the most part, he takes a very liberal look at the constitution,” Webster said. “We have a president who is trying to take away from our first amendment rights. The right that seems to be the most under attack right now is the second amendment.”

Vermont currently does not require residents to have any type of firearms license or training in order to purchase a gun, and both open and concealed carry are legal in the state. Residents cannot buy magazines that contain more than 10 rounds for long guns or more than 15 rounds for handguns.

President Joe Biden has proposed stronger enforcement of existing federal gun laws, particularly those that ban firearms trafficking and certain types of gun sales. His 2020 campaign website details plans to restrict gun sales, strengthen the federal background check system, and ban assault weapons, a term which his platform does not define.

Biden, however, has not moved towards repossessing guns from those who are currently legally allowed to possess them. In the first months of his term, he has not signed any major pieces of federal gun legislation into law.

In 2018, Gov. Phil Scott signed a law preventing most people under the age of 21 from purchasing guns in the state, requiring guns to be transferred through a licensed dealer, and banning bump stocks, which can make a semi-automatic firearm fire at the same rate as a fully automatic weapon.

Webster said that he wrote the Groton resolution when he learned that Burlington had adopted a “sanctuary city” policy, compliant with existing federal immigration laws, for undocumented immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.

“Before that, the Second Amendment sanctuary town was basically symbolic, but it sets precedent that other towns can do sanctuaries that have bite and piece to them,” Webster said.

Not everyone in Groton is excited about the resolution. 

Deborah Jurist, who served on the Groton Selectboard from 2017 to 2020, said she found the proposal vague and overreaching.

“The last paragraph of this document puts forth the idea that the select board can make its own determination as to whether a law is constitutional and then act on this determination,” Jurist said. “I don’t believe that that power is vested in the select board of any town.”

The special town meeting will be held on Aug. 4 at the Groton Community Building at 6 p.m. The resolution can be found at http://www.grotonvt.com.

“I don’t think there’s going to be any difference in how the town government runs,” Johnson said. “It depends on the administration that’s in [federal] office about gun control.”

Both Johnson and Webster expressed concern over the possibility of new federal and state gun laws.

“Our government is not adhering to constitutions. We have a governor that often times just votes whichever way the wind is blowing, and for the most part, he takes a very liberal look at the constitution,” Webster said. “We have a president who is trying to take away from our first amendment rights. The right that seems to be the most under attack right now is the second amendment.”

Vermont currently does not require residents to have any type of firearms license or training in order to purchase a gun, and both open and concealed carry are legal in the state. Residents cannot buy magazines that contain more than 10 rounds for long guns or more than 15 rounds for handguns.

President Joe Biden has proposed stronger enforcement of existing federal gun laws, particularly those that ban firearms trafficking and certain types of gun sales. His 2020 campaign website details plans to restrict gun sales, strengthen the federal background check system, and ban assault weapons, a term which his platform does not define.

Biden, however, has not moved towards repossessing guns from those who are currently legally allowed to possess them. In the first months of his term, he has not signed any major pieces of federal gun legislation into law.

In 2018, Gov. Phil Scott signed a law preventing most people under the age of 21 from purchasing guns in the state, requiring guns to be transferred through a licensed dealer, and banning bump stocks, which can make a semi-automatic firearm fire at the same rate as a fully automatic weapon.

Webster said that he wrote the Groton resolution when he learned that Burlington had adopted a “sanctuary city” policy, compliant with existing federal immigration laws, for undocumented immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.

“Before that, the Second Amendment sanctuary town was basically symbolic, but it sets precedent that other towns can do sanctuaries that have bite and piece to them,” Webster said.

Not everyone in Groton is excited about the resolution. 

Deborah Jurist, who served on the Groton Selectboard from 2017 to 2020, said she found the proposal vague and overreaching.

“The last paragraph of this document puts forth the idea that the select board can make its own determination as to whether a law is constitutional and then act on this determination,” Jurist said. “I don’t believe that that power is vested in the select board of any town.”

The special town meeting will be held on Aug. 4 at the Groton Community Building at 6 p.m. The resolution can be found at http://www.grotonvt.com.

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Categories: Gunrights

1 reply »

  1. People need to stand up for their Liberty, and they are! America is at a crossroads, we’ve been hijacked by Evil and have witnessed a rigged Election. This cannot stand. We need to keep our Constitution and Bill of Rights intact. We The People are the ones that RULE over Government. This current Government is a fraud and the whole world knows it, everyone in America knows it. The Truth is out and will be NOT be hidden.

    Liberty is from God not men.

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