After 'Assault-Style Weapons' Ban in Burlington VT, Police No Longer Allowed to Train at Local Gun Range

Rash action often fosters unintended consequences, such as in Burlington, Vt., where the city council has banned "assault-style firearms" and large-capacity magazines within city limits, prompting a local club to spitefully comply by prohibiting the local police department from training at its gun range.

The Stowe Reporter reports that the Lamoille Valley Fish and Game Club's executive board has voted to bar Burlington Police Department officers from training with the newly forbidden weapons in protest of the council's ban on "assault-style firearms."

The Lamoille Valley Fish and Game Club had allowed local police officers to train with their weapons, including "assault-style firearms," without charge for years, according to Club Chairman Robert Boivin.

But now, the club "can no longer support the City of Burlington with such a prejudice against our club and its members, and has voted to suspend the City's use of our range for its law enforcement." Boivin said in a letter to the Stowe Reporter. "This action is effective immediately."

The irony is the city council cannot legally ban firearms because, under Vermont's State Gun Preemption law, local governments are prohibited from enacting laws that are more restrictive than those imposed by the state. Although a state legislator has introduced a proposed statewide semi-automatic gun ban, it must be approved by voters for it to become law. The soonest that can happen is March 2014.

And, so, for the time being, everyone loses.

"It is unfortunate that this important and much-needed community dialogue regarding gun control currently under way in the city of Burlington and across the nation has resulted in this action," Deputy Chief Andy Higbee told WPTZ-TV News.