Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces Support for Common-Sense Measures to Reduce Gun Violence and Promote Public Safety


October 21, 2013
Contact:  Mike Kanarick

Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces Support for Common-Sense Measures to Reduce Gun Violence and Promote Public Safety
Encourages City Council to Pass Resolutions that Would Protect Victims of Domestic Violence, Children, Law Enforcement

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger today announced his support for three common sense measures to reduce gun violence and promote the public safety of victims of domestic violence, children, and law enforcement officers.  The Mayor supports three of the four Charter Changes proposed by the City Council’s Charter Change Committee – allowing law enforcement to remove guns following a domestic violence incident, banning guns in bars, and promoting the safe storage of guns – and has urged the City Council to approve these measures during tonight’s meeting.

“I support the Charter Change Committee’s common sense reforms that will make the City safer by protecting Burlington children, domestic violence victims, and law enforcement officers,” said Mayor Weinberger.  “After careful consideration, I have decided to oppose a local assault weapons ban and creation of a new City concealed carry permit because I doubt the effectiveness of these measures and because these two particular reforms would create a patchwork of local regulation that would be problematic for responsible Vermont gun owners.”

The fourth proposal offered by the City Council’s Charter Change Committee, chaired by Councilor Rachel Siegel (P – Ward 3) and including Councilor Norm Blais (D – Ward 5) and Councilor Tom Ayres (D – Ward 7), calls for a new permitting system for concealed firearms.  In addition to his concern that this change would create a problematic patchwork of regulations for Vermont’s responsible gun owners, the Mayor also has cost and operational concerns about the proposal.

Councilor Siegel, who is presenting and supporting all four of the proposed Charter Changes, stated:  “I am hopeful that these four common sense measures will be passed tonight at the City Council meeting, that the public will support them in March, that the Legislature will ratify them, and that most of all, we can mitigate youth suicide, alcohol-related violence, domestic violence, children accidentally shooting each other, and more.  Work needs to be done on many levels of our society to lessen gun violence, including mental health care, economic justice, and addiction prevention and recovery.  These Legislative measures are an important facet of this work.”

Ann Braden, co-founder of Gun Sense Vermont, a state-wide coalition that “promotes gun safety laws that respect the Second Amendment and protect our children and communities by keeping guns out of the wrong hands,” stated:  “Both gun owners and non-gun owners value responsible firearm usage.  The measures the Mayor is supporting would improve public safety by keeping guns out of the hands of those who are irresponsible, whether a domestic abuser, an intoxicated person, or an unsupervised child.  A majority of states have safe storage requirements like the one being proposed, and they have seen a corresponding drop in adolescent suicides.  With our high youth suicide rate, this measure, in particular, needs to be adopted.”

Burlington Police Chief Michael Schirling also supports the same three measures as does Mayor Weinberger, stating:  “The proposed Charter Changes on domestic violence reform, prohibiting guns in bars, and safe storage provide helpful new tools for law enforcement.” 

Should the City Council approve these measures, they would be considered by the Burlington voters on the March 2014 ballot.  Those measures that are approved by the voters would then require ratification by the State Legislature in Montpelier before the City of Burlington’s Charter would change.

*Please visit the following links to read the proposed Charter Changes and their accompanying City Council Resolutions:

# # #

Press Release Date: 
City Department: 
Mayor's Office