Vermont is the Safest State in the Union

by Rob Roper

The recent gubernatorial contest in Vermont featured a sharp contrast between the candidates on gun rights. Sue Minter was a proponent of more stringent regulations on firearms and firearm purchases, while Phil Scott insisted Vermont’s gun laws are fine just the way they are. Scott beat Minter by nine points.

To Scott’s argument, the latest statics from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report once again place Vermont as the safest state in the union when considering crimes of murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault with just 118 incidents per 100,000 residents (a total of 739) occurring in 2015. (Source: Burlington Free Press)

As has been pointed out on this site before, it is the states and cities that have the most restrictive laws regarding firearms that tend to be the most violent and experience the most crime, and how citizens who conceal-carry are the most law abiding on record. Why we would want to divert from something that is clearly working toward systems that are demonstrably dysfunctional is a bizarre notion. Apparently Vermonters agreed at the ballot box.

It will be interesting to see what happens with anti-firearm legislation in 2017. Will the Democrat majorities continue to press for expanded background checks and limits (or even outright bans) on semiautomatic firearms? Or will they drop it? A little time will tell.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. 

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ritva Burton November 18, 2016 at 3:34 pm

Let’s hope that the folks in Montpelier focus on issues that Vermonters feel truly matter, like lowering high taxes, economy, good paying jobs!


William Hays November 19, 2016 at 3:14 am

Might I add a ban on animal traps to the mix, except on Church St. in BTV?


Jim Bulmer November 19, 2016 at 2:13 pm

Question- will the folks in Montpelier pay heed to the voters who elected Phil Scott and get serious about improvng the business climate, lowering taxes, improving prospects for decent paying jobs, repealing Act 46????? I’m not very optimistic.


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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

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