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Local gangs, increased gun sales blamed for Burlington gunfire epidemic

by Guy Page
Burlington city officials want tougher gun laws and more police spending to reduce the outbreak of Queen City gun violence.

A small number of local gang members are responsible for the big uptick in Burlington shootings, Chief Jon Murad said at a press conference at Burlington Police Department headquarters Thursday afternoon.

Of the 38 gunfire incidents since 2020, 18 have been arrested. Almost all of the arrestees have been jailed without bail pending trial, he said.

Drug trafficking is not a significant factor in the gunfire, Murad said. Neither are the local gangs affiliated with national gangs, such as the Crips and the Bloods. The shooters are generally longtime Burlingtonians, not people who reside outside of Vermont, as is occurring elsewhere in the state.

Chief Murad said he doesn’t know how many of the arrestees have criminal records that would prevent them, under existing gun control laws, from legally owning guns.

Mayor Weinberger will present a proposal to reduce gun violence to the City Council. Among other measures, he will seek more funding to expand the current number of police officers.

Progressive City Councilors and Murad have discussed the crime problem at a community gathering, Murad said.

What Burlington won’t be doing is imposing municipal gun control. “We’ve tried that and it hasn’t gone anywhere,” Weinberger said. A proposed city charter change went nowhere with the Legislature, he said. He hopes Montpelier and Washington enhance existing gun laws.

State’s Attorney Sarah George said “we do need to realize the perfect storm” that’s led to the shooting increase includes the pandemic, economic strain, increase in poverty, record years for gun purchases, and erosion of trust and confidence in criminal justice system, especially among minority. She did cite the reduction in police staffing.

George was asked by Vermont Daily Chronicle to comment on the possibility that gun purchases have climbed because police defunding makes citizens, especially women, feel unsafe.

It really doesn’t matter why gun sales have gone up, George answered. “I don’t think it’s solving the problem, it’s adding to it,” she said. Weinberger agreed.

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23 replies »

      • That bugged me to Guy “he does not know why” ? He did not ask ? I would hope that the Chief of Police in Boilington would know how to run a background check ?

      • Well, wouldn’t it make sense for a staff member to find out. What new gun laws will gang members and career criminals follow if they are already carrying illegal guns? Maybe you could ask Sarah George that too.

      • Guy:

        There has been lots of talk and even legislation aimed at collecting data on crime in Vermont. There has been concerns expressed about racial imbalances in the Vermont prison system due to structural racism.

        Based on all this interest in gathering crime statistics, have the 18 who have been arrested since 2020 been publicly identified? If so who are these individuals?

  1. Well Boilington, Learn anything from “Defund the Police”. Still think that it’s a good idea to “Downsize” the Police Department ? Still thinking about whether, or not the Cops need firearms ? Wow ! Who could not see this coming ???

    • Liberals, leftists, George Soros funded officials, BLM funders, Progressives, most Democrats, Big tech millionaires & billionaires, NY Times & Washington Post readers, CNN & MSNBC & PBS listeners…..just sayin’.

  2. Sarah George neglected to mention serious mental health issues for the increase in violence in Vermont. Perhaps because it appears she herself needs immediate mental health help considering most of the irrational & unrelated “causes” she gave for the recent wave of life-threatening violence which coincided directly with the BLM-incited nationwide violence, her very own George Soros implemented ideologies of coddling criminals, and the Defund the Police movement heartily endorsed by the hordes of lawless (living in public parks & pranking emergency services are BOTH unlawful & dangerous acts) and ignorant youths who “demanded” such merely 3 summers ago.

    What say YOU, Ms. George? Guilty or Not Guilty? You are INDEED guilty beyond ANY doubt.

  3. Why not fund a study group for an additional million and of course hire more , “negotiators”!

  4. Classic Progressivism where circular logic prevails. On one hand “You don’t need guns, just call the police”, on the other “Also, defund the police”. See how this ends up bad for the law abiding citizen?

  5. Everything is Gun Violence. Yet ignored are the policies that are instituted that lead to all kinds of violence and anarchy. I am surprised that Vermonters are surprised. If you look over the past two years at the defund the policy. Legalize drugs. Allow criminals to walk out the door to commit more crimes, legalize prostitution etc. you get what you have now. Progressive legislatures shocked and creating another deflection. Criminals aren’t stupid. Gangs aren’t stupid. These policies invite real crime. The crime that is in everyday urban life. And yet they continue to try and be as woke and virtuos as ever. Trying to copy policies that have been proven to fail in other progressive cities across the nation. But here we are. It’s all the guns faults. A metal object. How about inforcing the laws we already have. Addressing the tremendous mental health crisis we have in this country. The violent video games kids play all day long. The absentee fathers. The breakdown of the family and spirituality? People are waking up. Hence the San Fran DA. Sensible gun laws that work are good. But we can’t keep creating laws if we don’t in force inforce the ones we already have. And ignore all the other issues. The quality of life is decreasing at a rapid pace in Vermont.

    • You did not know there they don’t allow drug crime in Boilington ? Ever since they made street drugs illegal, there has been none ! Now they want to do that with firearms. They’ll make a law, snap their fingers, and there will be no more guns, just like they did with drugs. Right ? And then the mama bear said to the papa bear

  6. Burlington is getting just what you would expect. More gangs, crimes, less police. The mayor and city council created this mess. They’ll never admit it though.

  7. Wait a MINUTE! Murad says “18 have been arrested..almost all jailed before trial” (NO Bail = Prior Crim History) yet he “cannot say” (WILL not SAY!) how many were packing LEGAL guns? Oh SURE! And Slippery Sarah comments on rising gun sales saying “I don’t think it’s solving the “problem”, it’s adding to it”, ..(“and Whineboiger agreed”)…HUH? It actually IS “solving the problem” of fewer police as more Non-Criminals want to PROTECT themselves, but yet THEY are NOT shooting these newly purchased guns in the wee hours, the CRIMINALS ILLEGALLY CARRYING hot & stolen guns ARE…But the “acting Chief” doesn’t want to cast aspersions on the Felonious Firearm Freaks turning the city into the Wild West, it might not be P/C to point to what we ALL know…And the wheel of B/S just keeps on spinning..

    • my thoughts also thru-out the read of this…….ok guns sales up and that’s contributed to the crime wave…but you don’t know if the shooters had illegal or legal guns…….give me a damn break, do you think most or many are so stupid to not see the holes in your verbiage Ms George?? and no drugs involved……HELLO…….again; do you think we are all like out to lunch like you are?? wow, stunned I am….at the LACK of COMMON SENSE in Vermont…….and Nationwide

  8. The Federal laws already in existence must be carried out to the letter and with maximum penalties for re-offenders before ANY new restrictions on the Constitutional Rights of the law-abiding are imposed. It’s that simple, and aren’t the liberals looking for simplistic solutions???

  9. Gangs, crooks and hoodlums seldom, if ever, get their weapons from your local neighborhood gun store! Unless they break in and steal them. Get real, politicians!

  10. How many of the Firearms which can be traced to the “increased gun sales” are actually involved in the reported “Gun Fire”? Might Burlington’s issue be related to the DECREASE in available Officers? Progressive Administrations LOVE to blame Everything but themselves, when things go south.

  11. Just to put the icing on the cake in Burlington’s “progress” in becoming just another gang-infested hellhole northeastern city, maybe there is a street in the Old North End that is named after someone with slavery or eugenics in their past that can be renamed: Martin Luther King Boulevard?

  12. One thing that has been proven as undeniable is that a person bent on committing a violent crime will walk right through any, and all paper laws to achieve their goal, and penalizing lawful citizens by taking away or infringing on God given, or Constitutionally guaranteed rights is NEVER an acceptable remedy. That’s a period on the end of that statement.

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