Gun Control, NRA-Style

A Vermont legislator has introduced a bill that would require unarmed citizens to pay a fine for not owning a gun

| July-August 2000

A Vermont state legislator has introduced a bill that would require unarmed citizens to pay a $500 fine “for the privilege of not owning a gun,” reports Joanna Mareth in The American Prospect (March 27, 2000). Should the bill become law, gunless Vermonters would be required to register with the state as non-gun owners; those of military age who are not serving in the armed forces or police force would be subject to the fine. The bill’s sponsor, Representative Fred Maslack, says the law is not designed to protect citizens from crime, but to make sure each citizen assumes responsibility for protecting the state from hostile invaders. “There is a legitimate government interest in knowing who is prepared to defend the state should they be asked to do so,” he explains.