Paramilitary training camp bill passes committee

by Guy Page and Tim Page

S3, the bill attempting to control paramilitary training camps, passed out of Senate Judiciary this morning. The bill was motivated by the Slate Ridge legal controversy.

The bill passed out unanimously despite concerns about constitutionality raised by Vermont Traditions Coalition firearms policy analyst William Moore, who said it “fails to elaborate what constitutes ‘Unauthorized Military Training’ or what ‘Paramilitary Training’ is in any significant and meaningful way. Attempts at defining this appear within the description of the offenses but in no direct terms are they described in the Definitions Section. The reason this may be impossible is because all the acts of teaching, training, to demonstrate, instruct or practicing referenced are all Constitutionally protected innocent activities on their own.”

“Nothing in this bill will ever result in a conviction of anything that has happened at Slate Ridge,” Moore said.

Bills to watch in the Vermont Legislature’s committee this week include:

H165 – universal free school meals.

H92 – collection of unemployment after quitting job

H126 – 50% conservation of total land area by 2050

H66 – paid family and medical leave 

H89 – shield law for abortion, transgender service providers

H158 – expand Bottle Bill

S32 – ranked choice voting in presidential primary 

S. 36 – Arrest without warrant for health care worker assault

S. 4 – Juvenile gun control

S. 37 – Protections for abortion and gender-reassignment

S. 56 – Public preschool and other childcare, education changes

Schedule for All Vermont Legislature Committees this week: Click on Committee name for Zoom links. Agenda listings top-line only, not inclusive. Click here to see the complete weekly schedule of all committees on one page. Click here for list of all committees and links to their bills, members and contact information. 

House Agriculture, Food Resiliency, and Forestry

H. 165 – Requires public schools to serve free meals

23-0761 – An act relating to miscellaneous agricultural subjects

Vermont Housing and Conservation Coalition Day

House Appropriations

FY24 Budget

House Commerce and Economic Development

H. 10 – Create VEGI oversight board

H. 87 – Access to wages before payday

H. 92 – Unemployment insurance after voluntary separation

H. 55 – Unemployment insurance amendments

H. 76 – Regulating captive insurance companies

House Corrections and Institutions

Governor’s FY24 – FY25 Capital Budget Proposal

H. 102 – Amending the Art in State Buildings Program

Vermont Housing and Conservation Coalition Legislative Day

House Education

H. 179 – Transfer certain responsibilities to Secretary of Education

H. 228 – Requires financial literacy as part of a High School Diploma

H. 181 – Commissions study on the creation of a statewide supervisory union

Act 67 Community Schools Grant

23-0910 – An act relating to tuition and approved independent schools

House Environment and Energy

H. 67 – Household Products Containing Hazardous Substances

H. 126 – 50% conservation by 2050, Community Resilience and Biodiversity Protection

H. 158 – Expands the beverage container redemption system

Vermont Housing and Conservation Coalition Day

House General and Housing

H. 66 – Paid family and medical leave

Public Hearing on Housing

House Government Operations and Military Affairs

H. 180 – Standardizes the opening time of polling places

23-0705 – An act relating to miscellaneous changes to election laws

H. 226 – Defines how candidate information is to be filed with State

H. 127 – Legalize sports betting

23-0908 – Professions and occupations regulated by the Office of Professional Regulation

House Health Care

23-0859 – Extends COVID-19 health care regulatory flexibility

H. 230 – Reduce suicide by reducing “access to lethal means”

Governor’s Proposed FY2024 Budget

Suicide Prevention

House Human Services

Governor’s Proposed FY2024 Budget

H. 190 – Removes the residency requirement from assisted suicide

H. 222 – Expands legal med-assisted treatment for opioid addiction

H. 171 – Amends adult protective services

House Judiciary

H. 40 – Make contraceptive tampering a crime

H. 148 – Raises the marriagable age to 18

H. 227 – Enacts the Vermont Uniform Power of Attorney Act

H. 53 – Driver’s license suspensions

H. 175 – Modernizes the Children and Family Council for Prevention Programs

H. 173 – Expands the statute against manipulating a child for sexual contact

H. 41 – Domestic-/sex-assault cases referred to community justice centers

House Natural Resources, Fish & Wildlife

Not yet published

House Transportation

Governor’s Proposed FY2024 Budget

Art and Transportation Programs/Initiatives – Arts Advocacy Day

House Ways and Means

H. 87 – Access to wages before payday

H. 67 – Manufacturers pay for household hazardous products collection

23-0161 – Defines new categories of nonhomestead property

23-0629 – Imposing a multi-year moratorium on the reappraisal requirement under 32 VSA section 4041s and to create a State appraisal assistance program

Senate Agriculture

23-0138 – Protection from nuisance suits against farming

23-0760 – An act relating to miscellaneous agricultural subjects

Working Lands Enterprise Fund

Senate Appropriations

This agenda has not yet been published

Senate Economic Development, Housing, and General Affairs

Omnibus Housing Bill

Public Hearing on Housing

Senate Education

S. 56 – An act relating to child care and early childhood education

Education Quality Standards

23-0450 Creates the School Construction Aid Task Force

Proficiency Based Learning

Senate Finance

S. 45 – Establishes elective income tax on pass-through businesses

S. 63 – An act relating to health insurance and Medicaid coverage for fertility-related services

S. 54 – Maintains separation of insurance markets in VT Health Connect

S. 68 – An act relating to the deduction for student loan payments

S. 69 – An act relating to a surcharge on nonprimary dwellings

Updates from Electrical Providers

Senate Government Operations

S. 9 – State Auditor examining State contractor records

S. 39 – Legislators’ pay and benefits

S. 17 – Sheriff reforms

S. 42 – Prohibits State retirement systems from investing in fossil fuels

H. 46 – Dissolution of Colchester Fire District No. 3

Senate Health and Welfare

S. 37 – Protections for abortion and gender-reassignment

S. 56 – Public preschool and other childcare, education changes

H. 89 – Legal protections for abortion, transgender service providers

Senate Institutions

Governor’s FY24 – FY25 Capital Budget Proposal

Vermont Housing and Conservation Coalition Legislative Day

Senate Judiciary

S. 27 – Reducing usage of cash bails 

S. 3 – Prohibits paramilitary training camps

S. 14 – Justice expenditure reporting

S. 4 – Juvenile gun control

S. 6, Interrogation of juveniles

Senate Natural Resources and Energy

S. 5 – Affordable Heat Act mandate

Senate Transportation

Department of Motor Vehicles Modernization

Categories: Legislation

8 replies »

  1. “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”

    The very reason for the 2nd Amendment was to give we the people a means to fight back against bills such a S3.

    Just as nobody in the legislature could not definitively state what “personal reproductive autonomy” is, neither can they define exactly what constitutes ‘Unauthorized Military Training’ or ‘Paramilitary Training’. Per usual, just pass the bill even though they don’t understand what it means.

  2. With very few exceptions, members of the VT Legislature must believe the Constitutions of VT and America don’t exist. The amount of time and Taxpayer money wasted on redundant or illegal Bills is monumental.
    S3 is one more example of the fear and control agenda. Vermonters and Americans are guaranteed the right to form Militias.
    Like so much of the WOKE agenda, it doesn’t matter one iota what the writers and supporters of this Bill feel about the Rule of Law. What matters is the Constitution.
    The 2nd Amendment was written to specifically address what these people are trying to do.
    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.

    Doesn’t say anything about anyones feelings, doesn’t say anything about anyones truth.
    It is clear, despite the fear of these legislators Vermonters are guaranteed the right to train and protect themselves against a tyrannical government.

    Something else these legislators missed, Section 9 of the Vermont Constitution.
    I ______________ do solemnly swear, by the ever living God (or I do solemnly affirm in the presence of Almighty God), that as a member of this Assembly, I will not propose, or assent to any bill, vote or resolution, which shall appear to me injurious to the people; nor do or consent to any act or thing whatever, that shall have a tendency to lessen or abridge their rights and privileges, as declared in the Constitution of this State; but will in all things, conduct myself as a faithful, honest representative and guardian of the people, according to the best of my judgment and abilities.

    If they took this pledge, they are bound by it. If they haven’t, they aren’t legal Office holders and must be relieved of their Office.

    It just doesn’t apply to S3, much of what these people are wasting time fall into the same category. Wake up Vermonters, these people are trying to control every aspect of our lives and tax us into oblivion to support their WOKE agenda to destroy a civilized, law abiding and free society.

    • But Jim, did they actually take that pledge or is it like when we were kids, we said we had our fingers crossed behind our backs, so it don’t count. This is why people like Senator Becca White won’t say the Pledge of Allegiance and they are too dishonest to even to admit what they really are, COMMUNISTS.

      • It was a game when we were children. Vermonters ( for the most part ) expect the Legislators to follow the law.
        Exactly why I wrote it the way I did, if they did not take the Oath of Office they aren’t legal Office Holders and must be removed.

  3. Maybe VT should ban baseball camps? Driving schools? Cooking schools (use of knives)? Someone needs to change the KoolAid the legislators are drinking.

  4. Waiting for H-71 concerning Veterans who are disable not getting a disability Veteran license plate because of the way VT ‘s law is written .It was put in by a Republican SO I guess the dems are not paying any attention to it. What a shame! Especially some one discharged “disable” and can’t get a plate. But I see the Dems have all their -even the small stuff – in. This legislature is very bias – the worst I’ve ever seen.

  5. From the web site Bearing Arms by Glyon Oct. 5th 2013


    The Supreme Court in the Heller decision explained that the second amendment guarantees an individual right of the people to keep and carry arms for their defense in the event of a confrontation. The anti-gun crowd, however, refuses to accept this common sense reading of the amendment. The best way to interpret the Constitution begins with actually reading it.  The next best thing is to read what the Constitution’s chief drafter, James Madison, had to say about America’s founding document.  Madison was the chief author of the Federalist Papers, along with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton.  The Federalist Papers offer great insight into the political theories of the day that led to our system of government.

    Students of the second amendment should be familiar with both Federalist 29 and 46, which discuss the role of an armed populace in protecting the precious freedom which had so recently been won.  It was that thinking that led to the adoption of the second amendment.

    Madison was also the original drafter of the Bill of Rights, including what would become the second amendment. The anti-gun crowd regularly accuse second amendment supporters of only focusing on what Justice Scalia called the operative clause of the second amendment, the phrase “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  They assert that we ignore the prefatory clause that reads, “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state.”  To them the prefatory clause confirms that the purpose of the amendment was to protect the right of the states to have militias or as they sometimes phrase it, the right to bear arms when in militia service.

    However, beyond that, they never exactly explain what is meant by “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The anti-gun crowd cling to the so-called collective rights view of the amendment that held sway with a number of federal circuit courts pre-Heller.  However, beyond denying an individual right to keep and bear arms, those courts said precious little on exactly what the amendment actually protected.

    It was commonly stated outside the court room that the operative clause meant that the federal government could not disarm the state militias.  But that is not what the amendment says, and no federal circuit court actually provided any reasoned discussion supporting such an interpretation.  In any event, if that were what the amendment was meant to accomplish, one would think the amendment would have been written in some way like “A well-regulated militia being necessary for a free state, Congress shall not infringe the right of the states to arm the militia.” However, this interpretation of the amendment would have worked a radical transformation of Congress’s power over the militia.  The Constitution addresses the militia in Article I, Section 8.  It states “The Congress shall have the power … To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.”

    Thus, it was Congress’s responsibility, not the states, to organize and arm the militia, with the states having only the responsibility to appoint officers and train the militia as Congress mandates.   The militia is not treated by the Constitution as a creature of the several states, but of the nation as a whole to be organized, armed and disciplined by Congress, while being trained by the states as Congress directs.
    Congress has in fact exercised this authority.
    Title 10 of the United States Code, Section 311 defines the militia of the United States with certain exceptions as “all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and … under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and … female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.”  The National Guard is the organized militia and the unorganized militia consists of those militia members not in the Guard.  In the Second Militia Act, passed in 1792, Congress specified the arms militia members were to have.  It was incumbent on militia members to report for training and duty with their own arms. The second amendment did not change Congress’s authority over the militia, nor was that the intent of the amendment.  Most notably, the second amendment did not provide that the states would or could arm the militia.  If that were the meaning of the second amendment, then states could be free to arm the militia in any way they saw fit.  States could for instance under the collective rights view of the second amendment, authorize each member of the unorganized militia to own a fully automatic weapon such as the M-16.  That would raise issues with respect to the provisions of the National Firearms Act of 1934, which greatly restricts the ownership and transfer of automatic weapons.  States could also abrogate many other federal firearm restrictions. It is certainly the case that some founders, such as Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, feared that Congress would neglect its responsibility to arm the militia.  And so it is not an unreasonable view that a primary purpose of the second amendment was to ensure that the militia would not be disarmed by taking guns away from the people who constituted the militia.