June 26, 2020
In 2018, Vermont made it illegal to purchase or possess magazines of more than 15 rounds for handguns and of more than 10 rounds for long guns. Avowed white supremacist Max Misch was charged with violating the law, and challenged its constitutionality. The lower court rejected the challenge, so he took the matter to the Vermont Supreme Court, which held oral argument earlier this week.
Unlike the Second Amendment, which includes the phrase “well-regulated,” Vermont’s constitutional provision relating to the possession of firearms states simply that “people have the right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state.”
All the questioning from the judges seemed to hinge on whether the magazine limits went too far. Justice Harold Eaton pointed out that the record established that the average person using a firearm in self-defense needs 2.2 rounds. That being the case, it is hard to imagine the Court striking down a law that allows for magazines containing many times that number. But I’ve been wrong before.