Changes to gun rules on the ballot in Burlington - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Changes to gun rules on the ballot in Burlington

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It is a big day for voters across the state and the big ticket item this Town Meeting Day in Burlington is guns.

"I think it's one of the most important issues that we have to deal with," said Anne, a Burlington voter who didn't want to give her last name.

Queen City residents are hitting the polls and must decide whether to pass three Charter changes about firearms. The first item requires firearms to be locked up at all times at home. The second bans firearms in establishments that sell liquor. And the third allows police to seize firearms in domestic violence situations.

"The reason that I care about these is because I do think they will create more safety. If guns were kept locked up children wouldn't shoot each other by accident. There would be less suicides by firearms," said Rachel Siegel, P-Burlington City Council.

Siegel says members have been looking at these changes for more than a year. Many voters support the proposed changes.

"It's very important to me that we should have those kinds of charter amendments passed so we can have a safer city," said Dana McKeen of Burlington.

But some worry the proposals threaten the Second Amendment.

"Our primary concern is that the ordinances that would be enacted attack our Vermont Sportsmen's Bill of Rights," said Evan Hughes of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs.

Hughes says these changes would create a patchwork of conflicting gun rules across the state. Hughes says Vermont is one of the safest states in the nation and these regulations go against the rights of every gun owner.

"It's your home. We have no problem in the state of Vermont with this. It's a solution in search of a problem. And it's more politics than it is sound public policy," Hughes said.

"I feel if the home is secure people deserve the right to protect their home and their assets. I believe if the home is locked up, then your gun is secure and it is there for self-defense," said John Pijanowski of Burlington.

If passed, these changes would then have to pass through the Statehouse-- a move that many legal experts say they don't think will happen.

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