Vermont Constitutional Carry

Vermont Constitutional Carry

In the United States, gun laws can vary significantly from one state to another. Vermont stands out as a constitutional carry state, which means it allows individuals to possess firearms without the need for a gun permit. Unlike most other states, Vermont follows a “does not issue permit” policy, making it unique in its approach to firearms regulation. In this article, we will explore Vermont’s constitutional carry laws and the guidelines for owning and carrying firearms within the state.

Introduction to Vermont’s Constitutional Carry

Vermont, often referred to as the “Green Mountain State,” is known for its picturesque landscapes and a unique approach to gun laws. As a constitutional carry state, Vermont allows individuals to possess and carry firearms openly or concealed without requiring a gun permit or license.

This policy makes it easier for law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights. However, while constitutional carry is legal in Vermont, there are still specific guidelines and restrictions that gun owners must adhere to.

Purchasing Firearms in Vermont

In Vermont, anyone aged twenty-one and above can purchase firearms without the need for a gun permit. The state does not impose a waiting period, so as soon as the background check is complete, individuals can proceed with the purchase. However, individuals under the age of twenty-one can also buy firearms but must first complete Vermont’s approved hunter course. Notably, members of the military or law enforcement officers under the age of twenty-one are exempt from this requirement.

Exemptions from Background Checks

While a background check is typically mandatory for purchasing firearms, Vermont provides exemptions in specific situations. For instance, during the transfer of a firearm between immediate family members, such as spouses, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, and step-family members, a background check is not required. This exemption also applies when transferring a firearm to prevent potential danger to a person.

See also  Vermont Gun Permit

Age Restrictions for Firearm Possession

The age requirements for firearm possession in Vermont are distinct from federal law. The minimum age for open and concealed carry is sixteen years, while the federal gun law mandates eighteen years old. However, individuals under sixteen years old cannot possess firearms or concealed carry weapons without consent from parents or guardians.

Places Where Firearms are Prohibited

Although Vermont allows constitutional carry, there are specific places where firearms are prohibited by law:

  1. Preteen schools, elementary schools, and high schools, including school buildings and school buses.
  2. Mud Creek Hunting controlled area, Alburg.
  3. Properties used for residential treatment.
  4. Private properties without permission from the owners or authorities in charge.
  5. Game reserve areas in the state.
  6. Courthouses and offices during court proceedings.
  7. State buildings and state-owned institutions.
  8. Areas restricted by federal law of the USA.

Requirements for Possession of Firearms in Vermont

While Vermont does not issue gun permits, certain requirements must be met to legally possess firearms within the state:

  1. Minimum age of sixteen years for firearm possession, and twenty-one years for firearm purchase.
  2. Residency in the state, with exceptions for military personnel and their spouses.
  3. US citizenship or legal residence status.
  4. No history of felony or violent crime convictions.
  5. Absence of drug addiction or intoxication.
  6. No federal or state prohibition on firearm purchase.
  7. No previous involvement in illegal firearm use or misdemeanor charges, at least five years before applying for a CCW in Vermont.
  8. No mental impairment or adjudication as dangerous to oneself or others in the past ten years.
  9. No firearm violation or illegal firearm use involvement, five years before the CCW application.
See also  Vermont Open Carry

Preemption Gun Law and Municipal Regulations

Vermont is a preemption gun law state, meaning that while it allows municipalities and counties to regulate firearms for safety reasons, they cannot contradict federal and state gun laws concerning possession, taxation, transportation, transfer, sales, and purchase of firearms, ammunition, and their components.

Furthermore, owners of gun ranges and individuals using these ranges for firearm practices must comply with the laws and regulations required by the municipality or any other political subdivision in the state.


Vermont’s constitutional carry laws grant its residents the freedom to possess and carry firearms without the need for a gun permit, making it unique in the United States. However, despite this liberal approach, there are essential guidelines and restrictions to ensure responsible firearm ownership and usage. Understanding the rules and requirements is crucial for anyone planning to own or carry a firearm in Vermont.


Q1: Can anyone carry a firearm in Vermont without a permit?

Yes, Vermont is a constitutional carry state, allowing individuals to possess and carry firearms openly or concealed without a gun permit.

Q2: Are background checks required for all firearm purchases in Vermont?

No, background checks are exempted during transfers between immediate family members and situations where a transfer is made to prevent potential danger to a person.

Q3: Can a non-resident buy a handgun in Vermont?

Yes, Vermont gun laws allow non-residents to purchase handguns from federal firearms licensed dealers in Vermont, subject to the same federal requirements like background checks that residents must meet. No state permit is required.

Q4: Does Vermont have a magazine capacity limit?

See also  Vermont Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW)

No, Vermont does not have any state restrictions on magazine capacity for firearms. This applies to both residents and non-residents purchasing guns that hold over 10 rounds. Federal laws still apply.

Q5: Can I carry a sword in Vermont?

Open carry of swords and knives is generally allowed in Vermont under state law, as Vermont does not specifically prohibit the public carrying of blades. However, some local laws may impose additional restrictions that would need to be verified.

Q6: What is the minimum age requirement for firearm possession in Vermont?

The minimum age for open and concealed carry is sixteen years, while firearm purchase requires an age of twenty-one years.

Q7: Are there places in Vermont where firearms are prohibited?

Yes, firearms are prohibited in places such as schools, residential treatment properties, game reserves, courthouses, state buildings, and areas restricted by federal law.

Q8: Are there any additional regulations for firearm possession in Vermont?

Vermont imposes several requirements, including citizenship or legal residence status, no felony or violent crime convictions, absence of drug addiction, and compliance with federal laws for firearm purchase.

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