State gun laws are few in number. There are enhanced penalties for some crimes committed with guns; Vermont teens under the age of 16 are not permitted to have guns without parental permission (giving a gun to a teen under the age of 16 carries a fine of $10- $50); firearms dealers are directed by statute to keep records of their sales. Federal statutes prohibit convicted felons and others from purchasing or possessing firearms however these laws can only be enforced by federal authorities and charges heard in federal court. Vermont has not directed the Department of Health to report people with serious mental illness who have been adjudicated a danger to themselves or others to the FBI database and therefore they are able to purchase firearms (given Vermont’s high suicide rate, one would think that this would be more of a priority.)
Vermont has a number of statutes and regulations regarding the number of bullets one can have in a rifle when deer hunting (6); as well as statutes that prohibit carrying loaded rifles in a vehicle (to prohibit hunting from the road also known as deer-jacking); as well as a prohibition on the use of silencers (we are one of 6 states that doesn’t allow them) again to prevent deer-jacking. This was what Senator Leahy was referring to when he said that we have more protections in place for our deer herd than for our children.