Required gun storage in House bill appears at odds with 2008 Supreme Court decision

By Guy Page

H230, a bill requiring guns be secured in locked storage or with a locking device while in the owner’s home, was scheduled to be discussed on the House floor today, shortly after today’s edition of Vermont Daily Chronicle was published.

H230, “implementing measures to reduce suicide,” was approved by both the House Human Services (7-4) and Judiciary (7-3) committees. Critics of the bill say Section 3)a)1 of H230 expressly violates the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court Heller decision because it requires gun to be stored “in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other device.”

Heller, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, said the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home  be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock [editor’s italics] makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.”

H230 critics and advocates for the Second Amendment say they strongly support responsible gun storage – but not a state mandate, due to its unconstitutionality.

If the House decides to defer to Supreme Court precedent, it won’t be the first time this session.

A Senate gun control bill, S.4, earlier this session was amended to remove an assault weapon ban after Second Amendment advocates convinced Judiciary Chair Richard Sears that recent Supreme Court precedent would likely result in a successful court challenge. 

The more activist House Judiciary Committee declined to act on similar advice warning of a high court challenge to the home storage provisions. .

If approved by the House today, H230 will return to the House floor tomorrow for third and final reading. If approved by the House, H230 will likely pass through the Senate Judiciary Committee

Categories: Gunrights

30 replies »

  1. Yes, so does Vermont’s attempt to thwart including parochial schools as part of the State’s school choice options – but it never stops them from trying. The Supreme Court spoke loud & clear on this, but yet here they are with that as well. I’m thinkin’ Vermont legislator’s aren’t very good listeners….

  2. Democrats don’t care at all what the Constitution says. Every gun law they pass is violation. Magazine law from last time is against the constitution.

    • If H.230 passes it will put Vermont State Police, and Vermont Sheriffs in a awkward position. They both take an oath ( I will not, directly or indirectly, do any act or thing injurious to the Constitution). They would be within their rights to ignore H.230, because enforcement of that new law would force them to violate their oath.

      • Actually, they don’t both swear the oath. The ones that do are the sheriffs, who are the only Constitutionally recognized law enforcement in this country. The VSP, nor the DMV cops, who work for the Transportation Agency, have taken the oath to protect and defend the Constitution.

  3. Every law Democrats pass is a violation of constitution. Magazine ban is against constitution Democrat Governor don’t care either. Time to stop the tyrannical Government we have the right. It’s in the constitution as well

  4. In many places in rural Vermont, citizens are their own “first responders” in a critical incident because law enforcement can have a response time greater than 45 minutes. As citizens with adult grandchildren, that would mean that we are in violation mutipul times from firearms placed in strategic locations around our rural home.

    • The State Police have stated on live TV it takes them 26 minutes to get from their barrackcs to the school in my town and I am a mile past it. They aren’t getting to me until LONG after anything that happens is over.

  5. Like boiling a frog, the Dems won’t quit until they make sure only the government has firearms. Usually only seen in communist countries and Canada.

  6. O.K. All you VT Daily Chronicle readers, who are the lawyers who will take these issues on? We need to bring lawsuits to combat this stuff. That’s the only legal way we are going to stop it.

  7. This is ridiculous, my house my rules plain and simple and seeing how simple minded the law makers are it should be pretty easy to understand.

  8. Who cares? The legislature loves to engage in losing constitutional battles. Then the state gets to pay the winning side’s attorney fees to boot. (It’s just the taxpayers’ money–there’s lots more where it came from!)

  9. Law enforcement can’t enter any house or home without a warrant. Are the police going to violate the constitution and there oath as well as Article 16 of the Vermont constitution? It would be nice if some elected sheriff’s stood with the people and refused to do anything with this blatant violation of our rights in our own homes and by the Supreme court decision in Heller. This legislature is out of control and it’s no surprise with anti-gun progressive professor Phil at the helm of the senate. And the God like overlords pushing to control every aspect of our lives.

  10. When you hear us complain about overreach, intrusive legislation, centralized management of citizens…this is what we are talking about. The legislative culture seems to take for granted that you can, unbidden, rummage around in our lives…”for our own good”. Can you hear the rising chorus out here…LEAVE US ALONE! We’ll give you a heads up if we’ve got a consensus on something we’d like you to debate.

  11. It is way past time for citizens to take legal action against legislators who vote for unconstitutional measures.
    The Vermont legislature fears nothing because regardless of how they vote they continually get re-elected.
    Our constitution was put in place because the founders knew that one day, evil men and/or women might attempt to lord it over the citizens of Vermont.

  12. You wait right there Mr. burglar ! (murderer, rapist, whatever) I’ll be right back after I get my gun out of the safe, take of the trigger lock, get the ammo out of my locked, separate ammo locker, and load my firearm . In the mean time there’s coffee on the stove .

  13. First, they have zero evidence anyone has gone out and bought a gun for the sole purpose to kill themselves. they would have presented it if they had it.

    Second, no one can protect themselves during a break in with a locked up, unloaded gun. — and we all have that right. So to the criminals, don’t come to my house. For your own safety of course.

  14. Please stop calling them “law makers” they are OUR REPRESENTATIVES who work for us, and need to be reminded of this fact constantly.
    BTW I am not a “Taxpayer” – citizen, american, boss lady

  15. It appears that the democratic progressive wing of our legislature is bound, and determined to land in federal court, with this proposed legislation. When all is said and done, it would appear that they have not represented the best interest of taxpayers.

  16. So it is okay for the STATE to assist you in their preferred version of killing oneself, but not if you are a man who statically do themselves in WITH a gun. Oh you are unsafe because of no locks on guns. Not in my house. Would it make you feel better if they just beat themselves to death with it, aka Clinton style or jumped off a bridge or a building or pick a fight with a person 3-5 times your size.
    Let us see, you can get an abortion ( baby killing), you can talk to your doctor about not wanting to continue living, but no, you cannot just do yourself in by using a firearm or are you looking for a way to make sure I am unable to protect myself from YOU.

    I again ask in a state that promotes self assisted suicide. Who asked any of you to do this. As a representative I want to know who of your represented constituents want this ? No, nothing, crickets chirping … That’s what I thought. You people disgust me. I don’t need you permission for , well anything. You are representatives not rulers, start acting like one.

  17. Abdikadir was released from police custody for possession of a stolen handgun THREE days before he stole ANOTHER handgun FROM A VEHICLE and murdered Hussain…
    Yet heres our genius lawmakers again- in our homes trying to what? Lower suicide rates? Don’t we encourage suicide here, or is that only ok if Big Pharma gets their cut?


    The 2nd Amendment does not grant us the right to keep and bear arms. The 2nd Amendment denies the government the authority to infringe upon our right to keep and bear arms -Period.

  19. I read your article about H230 with interest and concern. While the goal of reducing suicide is a noble one, it is important to ensure that any proposed measures are in line with the Constitution and the Supreme Court’s Heller decision. As you noted, Section 3)a)1 of H230 appears to conflict with the Heller decision by requiring guns to be stored in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other device.

    It is important to remember that the Constitution protects our right to bear arms for the purpose of self-defense. While we must take measures to reduce suicide, we must also ensure that we do not infringe on this fundamental right. It is concerning to see that laws similar to H230, which may be at odds with the Constitution, are being proposed and voted on in Vermont.

    I believe that the Republican party needs to work harder to find candidates who are more in line with the values and priorities of Vermont voters. We need to find ways to build stronger connections with our constituents and to better understand their concerns and perspectives. Only then can we ensure that the laws we propose and support are truly representative of the people we serve.

  20. The State of Vermont, nor do lawmakers, the judiciary, or law enforcement abide by case law or constitutional law. They are above the law obviously per their actions. The invincible, teflon despots are inebriated with power and dirty, dirty money.

    • The CCP are a puppet regime of the elites, and are buying up land/property/businesses in Vermont. The last I heard, the CCP-owned Disney corp was set to purchase the Trapp Family Lodge. Maria must be rolling in her grave?!

  21. Biden stored sensitive documents “out in the garage, next to the corvette”. If that’s good enough for him, then I will decide how to store my own “sensitive materials”. There are many lethal objects one may find accessible in the home. Cars have keys but the keys typically hang by the doorway, accessible to anyone in the home. My guns are already locked up, just like everything else in the home, behind a door with a deadbolt. This legislature would have more credibility in this matter of suicide prevention if they hadn’t already passed a law allowing for it using lethal drugs. How about the democrats concerning themselves with “fentanyl suicides” from the endless supply coming in across our southern border?

  22. It seems that other things are not being discussed… Just was handed this this morning and I am passing it on so we can see that S21 and S31 are also on the list of “ARE YOU KIDDING ME!”.

    This is what they do, in the dark, far from us, at night, when no one is watching or will hear you scream.
    At this point are “letters” or a “phone calls” really going to stop these people from doing this?.
    My biggest issue is how RACIST this is. So we are now living in the post civil war south where Blacks having guns is a bad thing. Blacks hiding a gun is a bad thing. Hiding instead of defending yourself especially if you are Black will be a the new normal. That way they can break down your door and as you are hiding and quivering they will BLOW YOU AWAY or rape your kids your wife your dog. What is to stop them. .
    These bills show how much Vermont Reps do not want equality, nor do they want to stand by the BLM mantra nor do they want to protect women and children.

    Read this book and it will open your eyes to what they REALLY think.

    It is also very apparent that they have no clue or experience in being attacked in broad daylight, in public by a gang of people (or even just one) bent on causing you at the least lots of pain. Nor have they had a chance to be raped and were saved by a gun owner.

    I mean we really don’t want those “people” up in the north side of B-town getting and using guns or a woman who is small and except for a gun is as defenseless as they get. More disgusting behavior by people who were “selected” not elected. This goes back to schools having a policy of punishing the victim AND the bully for the behavior of the bully . From experience it does nothing to stop the bully but taught kids to not stand up to a bully (that’s called bravery) or to fight back when accosted (also bravery). No they want sheep that’s all.
    So sad how Vermont is going.