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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 13 : Crimes and Criminal Procedure

Chapter 085 : Weapons

Subchapter 001 : Generally

(Cite as: 13 V.S.A. § 4024)
  • § 4024. Negligent firearms storage

    (a)(1) A person who stores or keeps a firearm within any premises that are under the person’s custody or control, and who knows or reasonably should know that a child or prohibited person is likely to gain access to the firearm, shall be:

    (A) imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both, if a child or prohibited person gains access to the firearm and uses it in the commission of a crime or displays it in a threatening manner; or

    (B) imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both, if a child or prohibited person gains access to the firearm and uses it to cause death or serious bodily injury to any person.

    (2) This subsection shall not apply if:

    (A) the firearm is carried by or within such close proximity that it can be readily retrieved and used by the owner or another authorized user;

    (B) a child or prohibited person accesses the firearm as a result of an illegal entry;

    (C) a child or prohibited person accesses and uses the firearm during the course of a lawful act of self-defense or defense of another person; or

    (D) the person stores or keeps the firearm in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device.

    (b)(1) At any location where a licensed dealer conducts firearm sales or transfers, the licensed dealer shall conspicuously display a sign containing the information required by subdivision (2) of this subsection in any area where the sales or transfers occur. The sign shall be posted so that it can be easily viewed by persons purchasing or receiving firearms, and the sign shall not be removed, obscured, or rendered illegible. If the location where the sales or transfers occur is the premises listed on the dealer’s federal firearms license, an additional sign shall be placed at or near the entrance to the premises.

    (2) The sign required by subdivision (1) of this subsection shall be at least eight and one-half inches high by 11 inches wide and shall contain black text at least half an inch high against a white background. The sign shall contain the following text and no other statements or markings:

    “WARNING: Access to a firearm in the home significantly increases the risk of suicide; death during domestic violence disputes; and the unintentional death of children, household members, and others. If you or a loved one is experiencing distress or depression, call the 988 Suicide and Crisis hotline or text “VT” to 741741.

    Failure to securely store firearms may result in criminal prosecution. It is important that the owner of a firearm seek firearm safety instructions from a certified firearms instructor and keep firearms secured from unauthorized use. Posted pursuant to 13 V.S.A. § 4024.”

    (c) As used in this section:

    (1) “Authorized user” means a person 18 years of age or older who is not a prohibited person and who has been authorized to carry or use the firearm by the owner.

    (2) “Child” means a person under 18 years of age.

    (3) “Firearm” has the same meaning as in subsection 4017(d) of this title.

    (4) “Licensed dealer” means a person issued a license as a dealer in firearms pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 923(a).

    (5) “Locked container” means a box, case, chest, locker, safe, or other similar receptacle equipped with a tamper-resistant lock.

    (6) “Prohibited person” means a person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm by state or federal law or by court order.

    (7) “Serious bodily injury” has the same meaning as in subdivision 1021(a)(2) of this title. (Added 2023, No. 45, § 3, eff. July 1, 2023.)