Over 175,000 Vermont residents experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. Fortunately, many victims survive these traumatic events; however, Vermont reported 65 domestic violence related homicides between 2011 and 2020, 55% (n=36) of which were by firearm. An abuser’s access to firearms can determine a victim’s chances of survival; domestic violence firearm prohibitions and removal laws save lives.
Vermont prohibits possession of firearms by persons convicted of a violent crime, which includes stalking, domestic assault, a violation of a final abuse prevention order, and attempts to commit any of the listed crimes. Vermont does not prohibit purchase or possession of firearms or ammunition by persons subject to an abuse prevention order; however, a court issuing an abuse prevention order shall make orders it deems necessary to protect the plaintiff, children, or both, including prohibiting possession of firearms. Vermont does not require removal of firearms from subjects of abuse prevention orders though a judge issuing a final abuse prevention order may require removal of firearms.