Outside Groups Try to Influence Burlington Voters

Published 02/26 2014 11:09PM

Updated 02/26 2014 11:22PM

BURLINGTON, Vt.- Many people across Vermont will be watching what happens with several measures in Burlington.

On the ballot, the measures are items 6,7, and 8. They all have to do with guns and they are attracting attention and money from across Vermont.

Drive around Burlington and you'll see political signs for three gun-related measures and they were paid for by groups based outside the city.

"It does have statewide implications," says Marie Adams, an organizer for Gun Sense Vermont.

"If one municipality gets an exemption to the law, others will seek the same thing," says Evan Hughes, vice president of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs.

The proposed measures include allowing police to take weapons during a domestic incident, banning guns where alcohol is served, and requring guns to be locked up when stored.

"We're very concerned the city of Burlington is attacking the Vermont Sportsman Bill of Rights, a law we hold to be of great importance," says Hughes.

That's why Hughes' group has spent up to $15,000 on a campaign against the measures. Adams says her group has spent about $1,000 on signs and flyers.

"We've been phone banking and calling people because as a grass roots organization we wanted to reach out to people," says Adams.

Adams says her group sees Burlington as a first step to more Vermont towns and even the state passing gun control laws. Which is why Hughes says the fight could just be starting.

"If this passes this is just the beginning of the real problem," says Hughes.

If the charter changes do pass on Tuesday, they still need the okay from the state legislature.

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