About Us

Gunsense Vermont is a non-partisan group that works to ensure that all Vermonters are free from gun violence. We work with local and national organizations, students and survivors using evidence-based practices to advocate for laws that reduce gun violence in Vermont.

We are gun owners and non-gun owners. We are doctors and teachers. We are hunters and veterans. We are civic leaders and religious leaders. Our members come from over 160 different Vermont towns and every voting district. 

We are supporters of the Vermont and U.S. constitutions and are united in our call for common sense action that protects the rights of individuals as well as those of our communities.

Guns do not have to be a polarizing issue. So much common ground exists, and we are determined to help the voices for moderation be heard.

GunSenseVT is led by a board of Vermonters and Executive Director Clai Lasher-Sommers.

The GunSenseVT Education Fund (a 501c3 organization) is run by a separate board, led by Dr. Paul Manganiello MD, MPH, the Medical Director of the Good Neighbor Health Clinic in White River Junction.

In 2018, GunSense Vermont helped pass groundbreaking gun laws in Vermont, including:

  • S.55 (Act 94), which mandates background checks for most gun sales, raises the minimum age for gun ownership to 21 with some exceptions, outlaws large capacity magazines not already in possession, and outlaws bump stocks which may be used to convert a semi-automatic weapon into a fully automatic weapon.
  • S.221 (Act 97, "Extreme Risk Protection Order"), which puts into place a procedure to prohibit purchase or possession of guns by people deemed by a court to be at extreme risk of harming themselves or others.
  • H.422 (Act 92), which allows law enforcement to temporarily remove guns from the possession of someone arrested or cited for domestic violence.