Townshend To Weigh Gun Ban In Public Buildings

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In Townshend, the Select Board is considering a ban on firearms in all public buildings – a local measure that, if passed, would violate state law.

Town officials took up the issue this month after citizens expressed concerns that some people were carrying firearms during select board meetings.

Kit Martin is a longtime member of the Townshend Select Board. He says some residents felt intimidated.

"There are contentious issues – not only in select board meetings but with the board of listers, when the town sells somebody’s property for tax purposes, you know, that’s all highly heated, emotional situations," Martin said in a phone interview Friday. "And I think for anybody – I don’t care who it is – to be standing there with a firearm is intimidating."

Martin says Townshend’s Select Board passed a motion for the town administrator to draft a new firearms policy. That policy will be presented at the town’s next meeting and voted up or down.

But Vermont statute says while towns may regulate the use or discharge of a firearm, they can’t prohibit the carrying of guns in a municipal building.

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