Vermont State Rep. Fred Maslack has read the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well as Vermont 's own Constitution very carefully, and
his strict interpretation of these documents is popping some eyeballs in New
England and elsewhere.
Maslack recently proposed a bill to register "non-gun-owners" and require
them to pay a $500 fee to the state. Thus Vermont would become the first
state to require a permit for the luxury of going about unarmed and assess a
fee of $500 for the privilege of not owning a gun
Maslack read the "militia" phrase of the Second Amendment as not only
affirming the right of the individual citizen to bear arms, but as a clear
mandate to do so. He believes that universal gun ownership was advocated by
the Framers of the Constitution as an antidote to a "monopoly of force" by
the government as well as criminals
Vermont 's constitution states explicitly that "the people have a right to
bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State" and those persons
who are "conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms" shall be required to
"pay such equivalent." Clearly, says Maslack, Vermonters have a
constitutional obligation to arm themselves, so that they are capable of responding to
"any situation that may arise."
Under the bill, adults who choose not to own a firearm would be required
to register their name, address, Social Security Number, and driver's
license number with the state. "There is a legitimate government interest in
knowing who is not prepared to defend the state should they be asked to do
so," Maslack says
Vermont already boasts a high rate of gun ownership along with the least
restrictive laws of any state .. it's currently the only state that allows a
citizen to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. This combination
of plenty of guns and few laws regulating them has resulted in a crime rate
that is the third lowest in the nation
"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the
system, but too early to shoot the *******s."
This makes sense! There is no reason why gun owners should have to pay
taxes to support police protection for people not wanting to own guns. Let
them contribute their fair share and pay their own way.
Here is the bill:
Introduced by Representative Maslack of Poultney
Referred to Committee on
Subject: Executive; secretary of state; registration by citizens not owning firearms
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to require Vermont residents who do not own firearms to register with the secretary of state, and to pay a $500.00 fee if the person is also eligible for military service. These requirements do not apply to law enforcement officers or members of the armed forces.
AN ACT RELATING TO REGISTRATION BY CITIZENS NOT OWNING FIREARMS
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 3 V.S.A. § 118 is added to read:
§ 118. REGISTRATION BY CITIZENS NOT OWNING FIREARMS
(a) Residents of this state who are 18 years of age or older, and who do not own a firearm as defined in section 4016 of Title 13, shall be required to:
(1) register with the secretary of state's office, the person's name, address, Social Security number, and driver's license number and state of issuance; and
(2) pay a registration fee of $500.00 if the person is eligible for military service.