November 24, 2003
Compulsory Gun Ownership

Instapundit links to this Washington Post article about Geuda Springs, KS, where the city council recently passed a law requiring residents to own a gun. He mentions Kennesaw, GA, which has a similar law, but he neglects to mention what was the most ambitious gun ownership bill ever introduced in the US, although it never managed to gain enough support for a vote.

In 2001, Fred Maslack (R-Poultney), a member of the Verrmont state assembly, introduced a bill (H.760) that would require every Vermont resident over the age of 18 who did not own a gun to register with the state. If that person was eligible for military service and chose not to own a firearm, he or she would pay a $500 fee for the privelege of not owning a gun. Members of law enforcement agencies and the armed forces were to be exempted from the provision. A companion bill (H.763) would have required basic military training to be a prerequisite for graduation from high school (this would ensure that all those gun owners would know how to use them).

I'd love to see Dean's position on the bills. (This article from the Rutland Herald has a lot of details on the issue, but doesn't mention the then-governor's reaction to the proposal). How far is he willing to push his support of the issue? Gun rights are terribly unpopular with most of the agitation groups in the Democratic Party. His support would probably drop off the screen if he supported such proposals, but he needs to start moving towards the center for the general election. The time to ask him would be now, before the Democratic Primaries start, rather than after they are decided.

posted on November 24, 2003 08:42 AM


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