“I will do my best to facilitate the search for the requested records expeditiously,” Chief Administrative Officer Bob Rusten told VFSC Vice President Evan Hughes. “I will make them available for someone from VFSC to come in to inspect them before the October 23 deadline, designating the time and a location in City Hall to inspect them.”
Rusten was responding to a second document request that this column reported on yesterday, sent after the city declined to respond to an initial VFSC inquiry. The original request was sent in response to proposed ordinances that would violate state preemption laws for firearms.
“The City understands that we may have some legal disagreement with your interpretation of communications in relation to the Public Records Act and my response is made under the advice of counsel from the City Attorney’s office,” Rusten advised. “I thank the VFSC for yesterday’s letter making the VFSC record request clearer … I now understand that the VFSC is not asking that the City create any non-statute required document.”
Rusten’s agreement to comply with the document request marks an incremental victory for the gun rights group, which enjoyed another concession when the Burlington Council agreed to remove a ban on what it calls “assault weapons and high capacity magazines” from its proposed citizen disarmament measure.
Charter Change Committee Chair Rachel Siegel told the Burlington Free Press “she voted to remove the ban in hopes that the other provisions would encounter less resistance at the city and state level.” In other words, although they’ve already revealed their cards, they’ll settle for what they can get now and come back for the rest later.
“What the Charter Change Committee is recommending still violates the Vermont Sportsmen's Bill of Rights,” VFSC’s Hughes told Gun Rights Examiner. “If the mayor and the city council are successful, the city still will have endangered the law that protects all Vermonters from municipalities all over the state wanting to enact their own ordinances regulating guns, shooting, ranges, hunting, fishing and trapping, which are protected by the law Burlington wants to slice and dice.”
VFSC has shown that intelligent, committed resistance has forced Burlington disarmament advocates to make concessions and scale back on their plans. If more gun owners -- throughout the state, because a preemption change would affect them, too -- became informed and got involved, the Council would be forced to abandon their scheme altogether.
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