Vermont’s Right Not-to-Carry

You may have read in an email or on a blog about a law proposed in Vermont to apply a tax to those individuals who do not own and maintain a firearm. (First off, if you have, please read this entire post before resending.)

While not allowable under the U.S. Constitution. And deliberately so, in order that such conscientious objectors, as Quakers and other religious sects were, would not be forced to go against their beliefs.  But the Vermont Constitution would seem to allow for such an ordinance.

The justifications being the added costs of needing police to protect  you, and the cost of defense.  Very valid arguments in my opinion.

And while I agree with the premise and would love to see such a law.  This proposed law is not likely to be passed as it was proposed back in 2000 at the end of President Clinton’s administration.

So if you’re going to share this info. Please phrase it accordingly.  “10 yrs ago a Vermont state representative proposed….It was a good idea that never made it out of committee. Perhaps we could push for such legislation  today.”

H/T to CornDawg’s comment here.

Published in: on February 23, 2010 at 10:45 pm  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I have to disagree with you, I think this would be a terrible law to pass even if it were constitutional. How do you collect such a tax without creating a de facto registry of gun owners? Although the law has the short-term effect of encouraging gun ownership it may have adverse long-term consequences.

  2. I see where you’re coming from…

    However, several factors contribute to that not really being a concern for me.

    First off, if they start collecting door-to-door they will eventually come our doors. Granted they’ll hit a registry first.

    Second, we already have gun registries. States are keeping background check logs. And they could always harvest them from dealers. So that’s almost moot.

    Third, there are two ways to conceal a matter. Take radar for example. You can try to make something very small and less noticeable. (Stealth aircraft.) Or you can make something overwhelming in it’s presence. (Jamming, balloon radar signatures, etc.) In which case the enemy knows something is on the radar but their entire screen is lit and they cannot pinpoint the exact location.

    In a similar fashion, if 90% of people owned firearms. A gun registry becomes nigh useless. If you have to go to every door anyways, then there is little benefit in know the select few who do not own firearms.

    Lastly, an added benefit can arise, in that you can turn over the declared gun. And claim it was the only one you had.

    Another alternative would be to mandate ammo. People could maintain ammo to avoid the taxes. (Requirement of 1,000 rounds. Can be any of the following calibers – .223, .308, 9mm, .40 or .45). The idea being is that you are still contributing to defense as a reserve depot.

    Then you could claim you own no gun, just doing your civic duty.


  3. Once I realized that dealers had to keep the 4473 forms on file until they close, and then turn them over to the BATFE (and still turn them over to the BATFE if agents ever requested it), I realized we already have a gun registry (and you mention), and got over it.

    Oh, it still torques me right the hell off, and I would just as soon those records went away, never to be seen or required again, but getting all hot-and-bothered over the spectre of other forms of registration seems somewhat moot given the circumstances.

    So, in short, that aspect of this proposed bill does not really bother me.

    What does bother me is the unenforceability of it – short of requiring the entire populace of Vermont to report to their local police departments with at least one firearm in tow, enacting the tax would be somewhat difficult. Signed affadavits would be a good start, but people could lie. And unenforceable laws invariably weaken all other laws, by association if nothing else.

    That said, I absolutely LOVE the spirit behind it. It is every citizen’s duty to protect himself and his family, and our country as a whole. Individual, private ownership of firearms is one of the best ways to ensure this, and encouraging that spirit is something I will almost invariably support (though possibly with some reservations).

    Hell, the Aussies have an if-you-do-not-vote tax, an if-you-do-not-own-a-gun tax would be unquestionably American!

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