Vermont's Magazine Restriction Law Challenged

Vermont gun owners are less than pleased with their state government and really, can anyone blame them?

From an outsider’s perspective, at least, the state was relatively pro-gun for a long time despite being in New England, a bastion of anti-gun sentiment, and managing just fine. The crime rate was low, people were safe, and guns were relatively unrestricted. In the post-Parkland insanity, the state switched gears and went full gun grabber.


Now, a group of Vermont gun owners is fighting back by challenging the state’s magazine capacity law in court.

Gun rights activists will be in court Tuesday, arguing the state’s ban on high-capacity magazines violates Article 16 of the Vermont Constitution. That article provides the right to have a gun for self-defense.

The lawsuit was filed soon after Vermont’s ban took effect last year.

Vermont law experts say it will be a tough fight to find the restriction unconstitutional.

Unfortunately, that’s probably right.

We understand that magazine limits restrict our ability to defend ourselves, but how many others realize that? How many times have you heard someone pop off with, “How many rounds do you need to defend yourself, anyway?” or, “If you need more than ten rounds, you need to practice more because you suck.”

These all sound fine to the layman, but the reality is that anytime you use a gun in self-defense, things change a lot from the range. You’re not shooting in a calm, controlled environment. You’re not relaxed and taking your time.

Instead, adrenaline is running through your veins. Your hands are shaking. Your vision may be constricting. The world around you ceases to exist as you focus on the threat in front of you. That threat is moving. It may be shooting at you, forcing you to move while you return fire. A whole lot of things are going on.

What that translates to in reality is that you’re probably going to miss. Not all your shots, but some of them.

When you’ve only got ten rounds, well…

But the courts don’t understand or even care about that. The court’s job is rarely to interpret reality but to interpret the law. Anyone who dealt with Obamacare should know that the law and reality don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand.

It’s likely that the courts will find that the magazine limit doesn’t prevent self-defense. Thus, it’s acceptable under the Vermont Constitution.  It’s wrong, of course, but since I’m not a judge in Vermont, my opinion doesn’t hold a lot of water there.

That’s a shame.

Especially since magazine restrictions can only impact law-abiding gun owners. Bad guys, even if they have weapons with restricted magazines, are still able to commit their criminal offenses such as robbery and murder just fine with ten rounds. Because they’re initiating the encounter, they often have advantages over the armed citizen. Especially since most of their victims aren’t armed citizens.

Couple that with the fact that they can get standard capacity magazines elsewhere in the country and guess what you get? A complete and total mess where the only people so restricted are the law-abiding gun owners.

You know, the one group of people you don’t have to worry about?

That said, I sincerely hope I’m wrong about this. I pray that these magazine limit laws start getting overturned and that governments will stop hamstringing us good guys while doing nothing to hurt the criminals.