Vermont is a constitutional carry state that encourages the possession of firearms within its territory.
Even with its lenient gun policies, there are still location restrictions for the use of firearms in the state.
To open carry in Vermont, you must understand gun laws relating to the practice.
Vermont Gun Laws Summary
Vermont has a permitless carry for firearms, and you do not need a permit to possess a gun in any jurisdiction of the state. It is a does-not-issue state.
Similarly, you do not need a purchase permit to buy firearms in the state. But the criminal record background check is compulsory except for the transfer of firearms between family members.
- Recommended Reading: Vermont Gun Laws
Is Open Carry Legal In Vermont?
Yes. Open carry is legal in Vermont for residents of the state that are at least sixteen years old, and non-residents that are eighteen years old or more.
Open Carry Laws In Vermont
Vermont is a permissive open carry state without the need for a license for open carry.
The state also allows the use of machine guns and semi-automatic weapons that are federally licensed, but the handler must comply with federal laws at all times.
Large capacity firearms with more than fifteen round magazines are illegal in Vermont.
Vermont Open Gun Law Quick View
|State permit for open carry.||No||No||There are no permits required for the purchase of firearms in the state.|
|Firearm registrations for open carry.||No||No||No state requirements to register firearms for open carry in Vermont.|
|Assault weapon for open carry.||Yes||No||Vermont permits the possession of machine guns and similar firearms in the state as long as the owner has a federal license.|
|Magazine limit||Yes||Yes||The magazine limit for firearms in the state is fifteen rounds. Every firearm user must comply with this.|
|License for the owner of a firearm.||Not required||Not required||Vermont does not issue a license to firearms owners.|
|Red flag law||Yes||Yes||The attorney general’s office can petition someone’s possession of a firearm with the court issuing an extreme risk protection order.|
|Castle doctrine law||No||No||Vermont is not a castle doctrine state but operates on similar laws with no duty to retreat policy in places where an individual has the right to be.|
|Background check for private dealers||Yes||Yes||Private firearm dealers in the state must complete a criminal record background check via a federally or state-licensed dealer before selling firearms|
|Preemption||Yes||Yes||The state government reserves all rights to regulate the use of firearms in Vermont. However, local areas can have ordinances to regulate the discharge of firearms in their boundaries|
|Concealed carry permit.||No||No||Vermont does not issue concealed carry permits.|
|Concealed carry in personal vehicle||Yes||Yes||You can conceal carry in a private car.|
|Open carry in Schools||No||No||Open carry is not allowed in schools, colleges, universities, and technical institutions in the state.|
Where Is It Legal To Open Carry In Vermont?
Vermont permits the open carry of firearms in the following parts of the state:
- Restaurants and bars: You can open carry or possess firearms in restaurant areas of Vermont.
- Private car: You can open carry in a private car.
- Roadside areas: You can open carry in Vermont roadside areas.
- State parks and forests: Vermont does not prohibit the possession of open carry in parks, forests, and wildlife management areas of the state.
- Place of worship: You can open carry in worship places as long as there is no signage prohibiting the possession of firearms.
Where Is It Illegal To Open Carry In Vermont?
Open carry in Vermont is not allowed in the following parts of the state:
- Schools: You cannot open carry in elementary or secondary schools, colleges, and universities of the state.
- Controlled areas: Vermont controls open carry in some parts of the state like Mud creek areas in Alburgh and game refuge areas in Bomoseen.
- Lodging properties: You cannot open carry or possess firearms in lodging properties like hotels and guesthouses that prohibit firearms in their premises.
- Courthouses: You cannot open carry in a state courthouse, or any other courthouse in a subdivision of the state.
- State properties: You cannot open carry or possess firearms in a state institution or any building owned by the state.
- Prohibited places: You cannot open carry in places prohibited by gun laws of the state.
FAQs About Open Carry Vermont
Some of the most frequently asked questions about open carry and the general possession of firearms in the state include the following:
Do I Need A Permit To Open Carry In Vermont?
No. Vermont does not issue a permit for the open carry of firearms in the state.
Do I Need A Permit To Conceal Carry In Vermont?
No. Vermont does not issue a concealed carry permit.
What Is The Age Requirement For Open Carry In Vermont?
You can begin to open carry firearms in Vermont if you are sixteen years old.
At What Age Can I Conceal Carry In Vermont?
Anybody that is sixteen years old or more can conceal carry in Vermont, as long as they do not have any state prohibition to do so.
However, note that the legal federal age for possession of firearms in the United States of America is eighteen years old.
At What Age Can I Apply For License To Carry In Vermont?
Vermont does not issue any permit to carry firearms.
Is There A Red Flag Law In Vermont?
Yes. Vermont has a red flag law whereby a court of law can prohibit an individual’s ability to possess, manufacture or purchase firearms in the state by issuing an extreme risk protection order after receiving a petition from the office of the attorney general.
Can Non-Residents Possess Firearms In Vermont?
Yes. Vermont allows both residents and non-residents to either open or conceal carry without restriction in the state.
However, non-residents must be at least eighteen years old before they make use of firearms in Vermont.
You do not need a permit from your state of residence to open or conceal carry in Vermont.
Is Vermont A Constitutional Carry State?
Yes. Vermont practices constitutional carry.
Is Vermont A Permitless Carry State?
Yes. You do not need a permit to open or conceal carry in Vermont.
Can I Open Carry Knives And Other Weapons In Vermont?
Vermont does not prohibit the open carry or concealed carry of knives or similar weapons in the state, as long as you do not have any intention to commit a crime with it.
However, the state prohibits the possession of knives in places like schools and government buildings.
Switchblades that have a blade length of more than three inches are not legal in the state.
Municipalities and local areas may also enact several laws to regulate the use of knives or similar weapons in the state.
Does Vermont Restrict The Possession Of Any Firearm Types In The State?
No. You can also possess machine guns and semi-automatic firearms in the state, as long as you have registered it at the federal level, and you carry in compliance with federal regulations.
Do I Need A Purchase Permit To Buy Firearms In Vermont?
No. The state does not issue a purchase permit to buy firearms.
Is Criminal Record Background Check Compulsory For Firearm Purchase In Vermont?
Yes, you must complete a criminal record background check through a licensed firearm dealer in the state before you buy a firearm.
The only exception for criminal record background checks in the state transfers between family members or a transfer to another person to prevent harm or danger to him or her.
What Is The Age Requirement To Possess Firearms In Vermont?
Anybody that is sixteen or more can possess firearms in the state.
Do I Have A Duty To Inform Law Enforcement Officers About My Possession Of Firearms In Vermont?
No, you are under no obligation to inform a law enforcement officer about your possession of firearms in the state, when you come across one.
Does Vermont Have Castle Doctrine Policy?
No, there is no castle doctrine policy in Vermont, but the state courts consistently rule that there is no duty to retreat an attack as long as a person is in a place where he or she has legal rights to be.
Does Vermont Allow The Use OF Deadly Force During Self Defense?
Yes. The law states that anybody that kills or injures a person will not be guilty in the following circumstances:
During self-defense or in defense of the life of a spouse, children, parents, or guardian.
To prevent an attack that could lead to murder, sexual assault, robbery, or any form of violence.
Is Registration Of Firearms A Requirement To Buy Firearms In Vermont?
No, the state does not have any requirement to register firearms.
Relevant Open Carry Law And Legislature In Vermont
Vermont gun laws and regulations you should know about open carry and similar use of firearms in the state include the following:
Vermont restricts the magazine limits for handguns in the state to be less than fifteen rounds.
The state enacted a law in twenty-eighteen to prohibit the manufacture, possession, sales, purchase, and importation of firearms with large ammunition capacity.
However, Vermont still has a grandfather exemption for this law. Firearms used before April twenty-eighteen are still legal in the state.
Other exemptions include firearms owned by law enforcement officers, licensed government officers, and professional shooting competitors in the state.
No Weapons Allowed Sign
Vermont enforces the no weapon signage in the state.
Anybody that trespasses a building prohibiting the possession of firearms, without consent from the owner or authority in charge, is guilty of an offense.
Punishment for this violation is a maximum of three months’ imprisonment, or a fine of five hundred dollars, or both.
The state law explains that nobody shall trespass on any land where:
- There is communication to prohibit firearms by the landowner or anybody representing the authority of the place.
- There is signage, or any kind of post erected to notify the public against possession of firearms on the premises.
- There are signs or placards posted by the building owner, his agent, or law enforcement officers, such that they provide reasonable notice before erecting such signage.
Preemption Gun Law
Vermont is a preemption gun law state, and the government has all the rights to regulate the use of firearms within its jurisdiction.
However, municipalities have the right to control the use and discharge of firearms within their boundaries.
Brandishing Of Firearms
It is unlawful to brandish a firearm illegally in Vermont.
Nobody shall deliberately point a gun or any other type of firearm at another person, except it is a situation of self-defense or legal use of a firearm by law enforcement officers or military members while carrying out their duties.
The state will punish anybody that unlawfully uses or discharges a firearm.
Red Flag Law
Vermont has a red flag policy for the use of firearms in the state.
The state attorney general can petition use of a firearm if they consider the person a risk to himself or herself and public safety.
The petition will request that a sitting judge prohibits such person from the possession, manufacturing, and purchase of firearms or any similar weapon in any jurisdiction of Vermont.
Open Carry While Hunting
In Vermont, it is lawful to open carry firearms while hunting.
However, if you only have a permit for archery hunting, you can only make use of a handgun while hunting, and it is illegal to take down any animal with the firearm.
Vermont has hunter harassment laws in the state, and this includes the following:
- Nobody shall deliberately tamper with any firearm, trap, net, or equipment meant for hunting or related activities such as fishing or trapping.
- Put himself or herself in a position such that he or she interferes or prevents hunting or related activities like fishing and trapping.
- Engage in activities that interfere with the habitation of wildlife, such as harassing or pursuing them, thereby making hunting difficult.
- No landowner shall interpret any part of this law to limit or prohibit lawful activities such as farming or recreational activities.