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Vt. lawmakers won't take up Burlington gun control measures - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. lawmakers won't take up Burlington gun control measures

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

Lawmakers took testimony on a proposed gun measure Wednesday, but reforms supported by voters in Burlington won't be considered this year.

Last year, members of the House and Senate shot down a series of proposed gun regulations. Burlington's proposals appear headed for a similar fate this year, while lawmakers quietly work on a measure to protect domestic violence victims.

When a town or city wants to change its founding document, it must get approval from the state. Most changes are merely technical and sail through committee as four did Wednesday.

But members are unlikely to hear Burlington's controversial gun proposals; they say there's not enough time left this session.

"I have constituents saying 'hey we voted this out, do something with this' and I have to say I promise I will do something with this but it probably won't be this year," said Rep. Joanna Cole, D-Burlington.

In March, Burlington voted overwhelmingly in favor of banning guns in liquor establishments, seizing firearms of suspected domestic abusers and requiring guns are locked when stored inside homes.

Cities and municipalities are barred from regulating guns but city leaders hope to skirt state law by changing the city charter.

That's a tough sell at the Statehouse in an election year.

Reporter Kyle Midura: Assuming you're back next year come January will you support the proposals?  

Cole: Oh, I am definitely one of the co-sponsors with all the other people from Burlington, I believe.

But other gun measures are moving forward in the Senate. When suspects surrender firearms following allegations of domestic abuse, guns are either held by a third party or handed over to police.

The measure would scrap the third party option and force the gun owner to pay for storage at either a police station or federally licensed gun shop.

"We merely wish to see that the rights of ownership are upheld in any language," said Bill Moore, from the Vermont Tradition Coalition.

Gun advocates aren't completely sold. They also aren't mounting the full-scale defense typically seen when proposed gun regulations are floated.

Gun advocates say accused individuals should not have to pay the storage fees should they be cleared. They also argue pulling a suspect's guns without a hearing violates the constitution and Second Amendment. Others countered that those cleared of DUI charges are still responsible for paying to get their cars out of impound.

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