New Vermont Gun Laws FAQs

What are some of the new gun laws passed by the Vermont Legislature in 2018?

BACKGROUND CHECKS, 13 V.S.A. § 4019

Under Vermont’s new gun laws, an unlicensed person cannot “transfer” a firearm (meaning transfer ownership of a firearm by sale, trade, or gift) to another unlicensed person without the assistance of a licensed firearms dealer, unless an exception applies.  The law exempts certain transfers, including transfers of a firearm by or to a law enforcement officer and transfers of a firearm from one immediate family member to another immediate family member. 

SALE TO A PERSON UNDER 21 YEARS OF AGE, 13 V.S.A. § 4020

As of April 11, 2018, the sale of firearms to persons under 21 years of age is prohibited unless the person is a law enforcement; an active or veteran member of the National Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces; or persons who can produce to the seller a certificate of satisfactory completion of a Vermont hunter safety course or equivalent hunter safety course approved by the Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife, including hunter safety courses from another state or a province of Canada. 

LARGE CAPACITY AMMUNITION FEEDING DEVICES, 13 V.S.A. § 4021

Beginning April 11, 2018, the manufacture, possession, transfer, sale, purchase, or receipt or importation into Vermont of large capacity ammunition feeding devices is prohibited.  This prohibition does not apply to large capacity ammunition feeding devices lawfully possessed on or before April 11, 2018, and the prohibition on importation into Vermont does “not include the transportation back into this State of a large capacity ammunition feeding device by the same person who transported the device out of State if the person possessed the device on or before” April 11, 2018.  The prohibition on possession, transfer, sale, and purchase of large capacity ammunition feeding devices lawfully possessed by licensed dealers before April 11, 2018 does not take effect until October 1, 2018.

BUMP-FIRE STOCKS, 13 V.S.A. § 4022

As of October 1, 2018, no one can possess a bump-fire stock.  Under the law, a bump-fire stock is defined to mean “a butt stock designed to be attached to a semiautomatic firearm and intended to increase the rate of fire achievable with the firearm to that of a fully automatic firearm by using the energy from the recoil of the firearm to generate a reciprocating action that facilitates the repeated activation of the trigger.”  Once effective, a violation of this new law is a misdemeanor crime.  The Department of Public Safety will issue a collection process for bump-fire stocks prior to October 1, 2018, in order to permit voluntary and anonymous relinquishment of bump-fire stocks before that date.

Here is a link to Act 94 of 2018:

https://legislature.vermont.gov/assets/Documents/2018/Docs/ACTS/ACT094/ACT094%20As%20Enacted.pdf

 

What are the effective dates of these new laws?

The new law relating to firearms transfers and background checks went into effect April 11, 2018.

The new law relating to sales to those under 21 years of age went into effect April 11, 2018.

The new law relating to large capacity ammunition feeding devices went into effect April 11, 2018.  Please note the prohibition on possession, transfer, sale, and purchase of large capacity ammunition feeding devices lawfully possessed by licensed dealers before April 11, 2018 does not take effect until October 1, 2018.

The new law relating to bump-fire stocks goes into effect October 1, 2018.

 

Under Vermont’s new background check law, who is considered an immediate family member?

Under the new statute, an immediate family member is a “spouse, parent, stepparent, child, stepchild, sibling, stepsibling, grandparent, stepgrandparent, grandchild, stepgrandchild, greatgrandparent, stepgreatgrandparent, greatgrandchild, and stepgreatgrandchild.” 

 

What is considered a large capacity ammunition feeding device?

As used in this new statute, “large capacity ammunition feeding device” is defined as “a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept: (A) more than 10 rounds of ammunition for a long gun; or (B) more than 15 rounds of ammunition for a hand gun.” 

 

Under Vermont law, can I bring a large capacity ammunition device with me out of state and return with it?

Yes, provided you owned the large capacity ammunition device prior to April 11, 2018.

 

Can a resident from another state bring a large capacity ammunition device to Vermont?

Until July 1, 2019, a nonresident is permitted to bring a large capacity ammunition device into Vermont provided such device is lawfully possessed by the nonresident and is to be used exclusively in an established shooting competition in Vermont.  After July 1, 2019, this exception is eliminated.

 

How do I dispose of bump-fire stocks?

The Department of Public Safety will issue a collection process for voluntary and anonymous relinquishment of bump-fire stocks prior to October 1, 2018, so relinquishment can occur before that date.

 

What qualifies as a “firearm” under the new laws?

With respect to the new laws relating to firearms transfers and background checks, and sales to individuals under 21 years of age, a “firearm” is defined as:

  • any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive;
  •  the frame or receiver of any such weapon; or
  •  any firearm muffler or firearm silencer.

The definition of “firearm” does not include “an antique firearm,” the definition of which can be found at 13 V.S.A. § 4017(d)(2).

 

Contact Information

Department of Public Safety
45 State Drive
Waterbury, VT 05671
802-244-8727
TTY/TDD 888-545-7598

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