Vermont Gun Laws


Vermont is located in the Northeast, surrounded by New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Canada. It is the only state in the New England area that does not touch the Atlantic Ocean. It is the second least populous of the fifty states.

A. State Constitution

Regarding the right to bear arms, the Vermont Constitution states:

“That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State– and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.”


B. Scope of Preemption

The controlling language of Vermont’s preemption statute is set forth as follows:

“Except as otherwise provided by law, no town, city or incorporated village, by ordinance, resolution or other enactment, shall directly regulate hunting, fishing and trapping or the possession, ownership, transportation, transfer, sale, purchase, carrying, licensing or registration of traps, firearms, ammunition or components of firearms or ammunition. This section shall not limit the powers conferred upon a town, city or incorporated village under section 2291(8) of this title. The provisions of this section shall supersede any inconsistent provisions of a municipal charter.”

C. Reciprocal Carry

Vermont does not require a permit to carry a concealed weapon within the state.

D. Criminal Provisions

Under Vermont law, one cannot carry a handgun in any of the following places or circumstances:

  • A person who carries a dangerous or deadly weapon, openly or concealed, with the intent or avowed purpose of injuring a fellow man, or who carries a dangerous or deadly weapon within any state institution or upon the grounds or lands owned or leased for the use of such institution, without the approval of the warden or superintendent of the institution, shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $200.00, or both.
  • While in a school building or on a school bus – []
  • Intentionally point or aim a firearm towards another, except in self-defense
  • Within a courthouse

Vermont Statutes can be accessed at: []