Vermont gun rights activist Evan Hughes passed away last month. A celebration of his life will be held 11 AM – 1 PM Sunday at the Elks Club in Barre.
“It is with a heavy heart that we must relay the passing of our father, Evan Hughes. We will be hosting a celebration of life for Dad at Elks Club from 11 AM to 1 PM on Sunday, August 7th. The Elks Club is located at 10 Jefferson Street in Barre, VT 05641,” Lee and Whitney Hughes announced in a social media post. “Join us in the celebration of the life of this man we are so proud to call our father and your friend.”
“Evan will be missed by, any and all who were interested in keeping abreast of all things having to do with the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and Article 16 of the Vermont Constitution,” Pat Finnie, a Barre native and fellow longtime gun rights advocate, wrote to Vermont Daily Chronicle.
Hughes was a Barre native who later lived in Burlington. He was the legislative liaison with the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs (VFSC) and was involved in the NRA and the Vermont Libertarian Party. He was known as an extremely well-informed advocate with an encyclopedic memory of Vermont legislation and an uncompromising position on gun rights. He ruffled lawmakers’ feathers (not for the first or last time) when he vociferously defended the right of gun rights supporters to wave small American flags at State House hearings.
In an email to members of the VFSC, colleague Scott Chapman wrote the following:
“A man of commitment to his country and countryman. Evan spent his workingyears of life in service of his country as a soldier, law enforcement officer and with the US postal service. His post retirement life was spent serving the sports men and women of Vermont protecting their rights to hunt, fish, trap and exercise their Vermont article 16 rights as granted by the creator.
“Evan tirelessly attended sessions of Vermont legislature for decades. Always keeping guard of the civil liberties of his fellow Vermonters. He monitored legislation at the statehouse, watching and reading bills as introduced, calling to attention those of concern to the sporting community. Sending updates and alerts from his infamous VTGUNS@aol mailing list.
“From his perch in the cafeteria at lunch hour he would note of who was consulting with whom over bills as the moved through the legislative process. He possessed the mind of a barrister and the legislative memory of a savant. Picking up on nuances of bills missed by others. Often quoting statute with unmatched accuracy of content, intent and application. His knowledge and dedication to protecting of our rights was untiring and his highest priority.
“He inspired many, disagreed with a few, and educated us all. For that we will always be grateful.”