Thank You

Thank you for taking the time to complete our survey on your position on criminal background checks in Vermont. 

This is the rare issue that the vast majority of Vermonters -- liberal or conservative, male or female, gun owner or non-gun-owner -- agree upon. The most recent poll conducted by VPR in February 2016 shows 89% of all respondents (and 82% of gun owners) support requiring criminal background checks on all gun purchases. This is consistent with previous polls on the topic.

The fact is Vermonters agree background checks should be required no matter where a gun is sold.

And the data backs up this support. In states  that require background checks on all handgun sales:

  • 38% fewer women are shot to death by an intimate parter, while the non-firearm homicide rate is nearly identical. (1)
  • The firearm suicide rate is 49% lower, even though non-firearm suicide rates are nearly identical. (2)
  • Gun trafficking is 48% lower. (3)

The evidence is clear: Background checks save lives. 



(1) Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Supplementary Homicide Reports, 2011, available at Excludes New York due to incomplete data; Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Supplementary Homicide Report. 2010.

(2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. (2005) [cited 2012 Dec. 20]. Available at:

(3) Daniel Webster, Jon Vernick, & Maria Bulzacchelli, “Effects of State-Level Firearm Seller Accountability Policies on Firearm Trafficking,” Journal of Urban Health, July 2009. To gauge gun trafficking, the authors measured the ratio of likely trafficked guns recovered from crime scenes to the total of guns recovered. A “likely trafficked gun” was defined as having been recovered at a crime scene and not in the possession of its original purchaser within one year of its last legal sale.