The Vermont Libertarian Party opposes expanding background checks for gun sales in Vermont. Vermont firearm dealers currently conduct background checks on each person purchasing a firearm both in-store and at gun shows. Expanding the background check law will have no effect on stopping criminal purchases, because criminals don’t obey laws.
The effect of expanded background checks by the State of Vermont means unreasonable restrictions placed on Vermonters’ freedom and liberty. It’s not unreasonable to be afraid that we’ll end up with a poorly-crafted law like Washington State’s I-594, where a parent can’t even use their own gun to teach their child proper gun safety and gun use on their private property without committing a felony.
According to 2013 ATF and FBI crime statistics, violent crime in Vermont is among the very lowest in the nation, even though Vermont has one of the highest firearm ownership rates in the nation. The ATF and FBI crime statistics tracing firearms used in violent crimes back to their originating state of purchase show that Vermont is not a major originator of criminal firearms used in crimes occurring in other states, despite what some groups entering this debate might claim.
The Vermont Libertarian Party supports common-sense policy reform to reduce violent crime. We believe it is in the best interest of second amendment supporters whose rights are under attack and anti-gun advocacy groups concerned with public safely, to support ending prohibition, dispute the resolution related to the now-illegal market in drugs which can be settled peacefully in public courts and not violently on the streets or in homes. Prohibition creates violence. Laws prohibiting unpopular forms of voluntary trade do not cease that trade. They drive it underground, attract more violence, and encourage more potent concentrations of the product to make it easier to smuggle.
A black market for drugs fuels a demand for black market firearms used to settle disputes violently, because no civil authority effectively regulates prohibited commerce, and civil courts are closed to adjudicate these disputes peacefully.
Because prohibition and not firearms create conditions for criminal violence to rise, it is reasonable to argue that ending drug prohibition is the most sincere and effective way to combat criminal violence, and simultaneously protect liberty from future restriction. Repealing these consensual crime laws will end criminally-controlled commerce, result in a dramatic reduction in drug-related violence involving firearms nationwide, and reduce the stigma for people seeking help with substance use. As a result, the reduction in enforcement and correctional spending may be used to create more effective drug addiction prevention and recovery programs, or reduce taxes.
About Vermont Libertarian Party
The Vermont Libertarian Party is an affiliate of The National Libertarian Party. The motto of the VTLP is “Small Government, Low Taxes, More Freedom.” The VTLP has been more or less active in the Green Mountain State since the early 1980s. Despite the relatively small size of our state Party, the Libertarian Party is the largest third party in the country and is driving a renaissance in libertarian thinking in this country.
Contact Vermont Libertarian Party:
Jeremy Ryan, Chair
Vermont Libertarian Party
PO Box 5475
Burlington VT 05402-5475