Legislative approval still needed for Burlington to enact gun laws

Published: Feb. 28, 2018 at 5:54 PM EST
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Burlington is still waiting for lawmakers to act on changes to the city's charter. In 2015, a man shot and killed a rival he got into a fight with at Zen Lounge on lower Church Street. The next year, city voters approved three gun measures, including banning guns in bars. For that to become law, the Legislature must approve changing Burlington's city charter. Lawmakers didn't.

Just two days ago, a young woman was shot outside Nectar's-- allegedly by a man who had been drinking inside. Mayor Miro Weinberger, D-Burlington, is asking why Montpelier is dragging its feet and not respecting the wishes of Queen City voters.

"With all respect to Burlington and its concerns-- I understand them-- we cannot have laws that apply in a patchwork kind of way. Burlington cannot go it alone on this," said Rep. Maida Townsend, D-South Burlington.

Townsend says her committee has constitutional concerns. She insists they took a deep dive, examining the city's proposal and heard lots of testimony but still decided not to take action.