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Burlington City Council proposes gun restrictions - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Burlington City Council proposes gun restrictions

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

The debate over gun laws is taking center stage in Burlington.

The City Council is considering a number of new restrictions.

The proposals would outlaw carrying a concealed weapon, ban weapons from bars and require gun owners to lock up their weapons.

Only one resolution failed, but the rest are likely to face tighter votes in the future.

State law prevents cities from regulating firearms, however that is what Burlington's City Council hopes to do.

Residents filled City Hall with competing colors: green in favor of the proposed restrictions and hunter orange against it.

"I understand how polarizing this is and how important it is to so many people, but what we're really talking about here is a public health crisis," said Bob Duncan, who favors restrictions.

"The city of Burlington doesn't have a gun problem, it has a crime problem. When seconds count, cops are only a minute away," said Eric Bailey, who opposes the measures.

The council approved barring firearms from bars, a locked storage requirement and a measure giving police the authority to temporarily confiscate weapons in suspected domestic violence cases.

Republican Councilor Paul Decelles did not support any of the measures.

Only hours before the votes, Mayor Miro Weinberger expressed his concern with requiring permits for concealed carry and the majority agreed.

"I feel strongly against all of this - even the one with guns in bars - not so much that it's that bad of an idea but it sets a precedence," said Ian Galbraith, a gun restriction opponent.

Marie Adams supports the new measures.

"We have to address all these things and in order to do that we have to try to keep guns out of the wrong hands and that's what these measures do," Adams said.

Before the proposals become law, voters will need to give their approval on town meeting day, as will the state Legislature.

The state Legislature shot down gun reforms last year. Currently, it is unclear how the Legislature will react to Burlington's proposal if it makes it that far.

Governor Peter Shumlin has said reform should be pursued at the national level, but declined to comment on the Queen City's efforts.

A measure banning assault weapons previously under consideration in Burlington did not go before the full council.

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