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GIFFORDS Applauds Signing of Bill to Ban Paramilitary Training Camps in Vermont

Washington DC — Today, GIFFORDS, the gun violence prevention organization led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, applauded Governor Phil Scott for signing S.3, an act relating to prohibiting paramilitary training camps. 

Allison Anderman, GIFFORDS Senior Counsel & Lead of Giffords’ Guns & Democracy project:
“Today, Vermont joins 25 other states that prohibit firearms training for anti-government paramilitary activity. Private paramilitary activity is illegal in Vermont and has been associated with the intimidation of people exercising their constitutional rights across the US. This is a commonsense policy that will help reduce the spread of dangerous, illegal, and anti-government firearms intimidation.” 

Billy Clark, GIFFORDS Litigation Attorney:
“We want to thank Governor Scott for signing this commonsense legislation to keep Vermonters safe amid the concerning rise of armed extremism. I also want to thank Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Baruth for leading the charge on this bill alongside Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Sears and House Judiciary Chair Martin LaLonde. Because of their leadership, Vermonters all across the state will be free from these disruptive and dangerous ‘camps.’”

S.3 would ban paramilitary camps in Vermont by making it a crime to “teach, train, or demonstrate to any other person the use, application, or making of a firearm, explosive, or incendiary device capable of causing injury or death” if the person knows or should know that the training is “intended to be used in or in furtherance of a civil disorder.” Twenty-five states, including every other state in New England, already have a similar law.

In 2022, GIFFORDS launched a Guns & Democracy project to highlight the role that gun violence and armed intimidation play in the weakening of democracy and the exercise of constitutional rights. The project also points legislators and the public towards policy solutions that will help strengthen, rather than weaken, our democratic institutions.


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