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Child Access Prevention

In 2023, Vermont enacted a Child Access Prevention law1 that makes a person criminally liable for storing or keeping a firearm within any premises that are under the person’s custody or control, if the person knows or reasonably should know that a child (defined as someone under the age of 18) or prohibited person is likely to gain access to the firearm.

A person is not liable, however, if:

  • The person carries the firearm or keeps it within such close proximity that it can be readily retrieved and used by the owner or another authorized user;
  • A child or prohibited person accesses the firearm as a result of an illegal entry;
  • A child or prohibited person accesses and uses the firearm during the course of a lawful act of self-defense or defense of another person; or
  • The person stores or keeps the firearm in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device. “Locked container” means a box, case, chest, locker, safe, or other similar receptacle equipped with a tamper-resistant lock.

Safe Storage

Vermont has no law that requires unattended firearms to be stored in a certain way.

Vermont also does not require a locking device to accompany the sale of a firearm, and no state statutes require firearm owners to affirmatively lock their weapons.


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  1. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 4024(a).[]