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Vermont Attorney General Discusses Judge’s Ruling On Large-Capacity Gun Magazine Ban

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC
Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan (file)

This week, a Vermont Superior Court judge upheld the state’s large-capacity gun magazine ban signed into law by Governor Phil Scott in April 2018.  Judge William Cohen declined to dismiss a case the state has brought against defendant Max Misch claiming he was stockpiling weapons and had illegally imported two of the banned magazines into Vermont.  Misch had also argued a grandfather clause violated the state constitution’s Common Benefits Clause.  
Democratic Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan is pleased that the court upheld the constitutionality of the law. He tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley it’s an example of common sense legislation that promotes public safety.
“I think the judge’s order speaks for itself. I mean I think what the judge said that I really respect is anytime you’re talking about any sort of regulation, government regulation, it is always balanced against those individual’s rights and I think in this case, yes, people have a right to possess guns. But there’s also that balancing test of reasonable regulations that promote public safety and as I think the court talked about that’s part of our social compact to subject the rights to the common good when the conflict arises. And so I think this is a good decision. I think it’s a decision that is right on the law. I think it’s a decision that speaks to the common sense legislation that the legislature passed when it passed these gun laws and we look forward to litigating the case.”

An extended conversation with Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan can be heard on the WAMC News Podcast.