October 15, 2019
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today joined 17 other Attorneys General to defend Vermont’s right to ban large-capacity magazines and protect public safety. In a friend-of-the-court brief filed in the Vermont Supreme Court, the Attorneys General argue that states have the right to enact reasonable firearm restrictions that reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by gun violence.
In August, Nessel joined a coalition of Attorneys General defending New York City in a similar fight urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling which held that states and localities can impose certain types of firearm regulations when they are substantially related to an important government objective, such as the protection of their residents.
“My colleagues and I have a duty to protect our residents from harm including gun violence and I am proud to join with my colleagues again to preserve the right for state and local governments to implement common-sense gun safety regulations,” said Nessel.
The latest brief was filed in State of Vermont v. Max B. Misch, a suit in which the Vermont Supreme Court will determine whether Vermont’s ban on large-capacity magazines violates the Vermont Constitution’s right to bear arms.
In 2018, Vermont prohibited the manufacture, importation, possession, and sale of large-capacity magazines, with some exceptions, including for magazines lawfully possessed before the law went into effect. The law bans magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition for long guns and more than 15 rounds for handguns. The states of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and the District of Columbia have enacted similar prohibitions. The constitutionality of those laws has been consistently upheld by federal courts of appeals under the Second Amendment, which the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized as similar to Vermont’s right to bear arms provision.
In their brief, the Attorneys General collectively argue that a ban on large-capacity magazines is a reasonable restriction that Vermont has the right to adopt because:
Nessel joins the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington in filing this brief.