Judge upholds Vermont's ban on large gun magazines

Published: Jul. 1, 2019 at 3:39 PM EDT
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A judge has upheld Vermont's large-capacity magazine ban.

In a decision last week, Bennington Superior Court Judge William Cohen rejected a challenge to the law.

The challenge was brought to the court by defendant Max Misch, who said it violated the Constitution.

Misch was charged under the law after the Vermont State Police received a report from a concerned citizen that Misch had illegally imported two banned magazines into the state.

The law prohibits long-gun magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition and handgun magazines that can hold more than 15 rounds. Vermont lawmakers say it can protect public safety and reduce harm in case of a mass shooting.

The judge refused to drop the charges against Misch. Judge Cohen released a seven-page ruling agreeing with courts around the country that have rejected similar challenges. He said the state has an important and compelling interest to protect people from gun violence and mass shootings.

Attorney General T.J. Donovan, D-Vermont, called the ruling a victory but said he thinks the fight is far from over.

"My sense is that this will go to the Vermont Supreme Court and they will be the final decider on whether these gun laws-- these large-scale magazine bans-- are constitutional. I believe they are," Donovan said.

Donovan says his office is also defending the gun law in a civil case.