submitted by the Officers and Directors of Lamoille Valley Fish & Game Club, Inc.
The Lamoille Valley Fish & Game Club (LVFGC) has been an active and positive part of this community for more than 50 years, and has hosted the Morrisville Gun Show at Peoples Academy for 27 years. Given the emotionally charged environment due to the events in Newtown, CT, LVFGC is taking the first step to promote a spirit of cooperation. LVFGC does not want the Morrisville Gun Show to polarize our community, so despite the fact that LVFGC holds a binding contract with Peoples Academy for its public facility, LVFGC will move its 28th annual gun show to Professional Drive in Morrisville on April 6-7, 2013.
LVFGC would like to point out a few facts about the Morrisville Gun Show and our view of gun regulations:
*All the vendors that sell firearms at the Morrisville Gun Show must hold a Federal Firearm License. This means that they are required to do a background check for each and every firearm sale done at the show. To pass a background check, an individual must be at least 18 years of age and have not been convicted of any prior violent acts, not just firearm-related crimes. The firearm is then registered in the Federal system and is traceable.
*During the show, armed police officers from Morrisville Police Department and Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department provide security 24 hours a day while firearms are present.
*There have not been any gun-related incidents in the show’s 27 years.
*The event is a major fund-raiser for LVFGC’s annual income. LVFGC sponsors many firearm education initiatives including firearm safety training, hunter’s education, and local, state and federal law enforcement training. Including but not limited to the local fire departments, Lamoille Area Cancer Network, Ed Taylor Fund scholastic scholarships, Boy Scouts, UVM Shooting Club, Vermont Outdoor Women program; Lamoille County Sheriff‘s department; Morrisville, Hardwick, Stowe, Essex, and Burlington Police Departments; US Border Patrol, US Department of Defense, Vermont State Police, and VT Fish and Wildlife Dept.
*Project Graduation has earned thousands of dollars from food concessions at the gun show.
*There is not any property in the area other than Peoples Academy that is available annually that fits the needs to host this show.
*Local stores, restaurants, gas stations, and hotels benefit from the increased traffic to Morrisville for this event.
LVFGC’s members, like most Americans, feel there must be something done that will protect our most vulnerable, especially our children. After events like 9/11, most can agree that guns are not the only tools available for evil people to harm large numbers of victims, including children.
Many countries take actions to limit access of guns to their citizens in an attempt to reduce the number of violent crimes. Countries like England and Australia still have unacceptable levels of violent crimes despite their extreme gun control regulations. Vermont has one of the highest percentages of gun ownership in the country, while having one of the lowest percentage of violent crimes per capita. Firearms are used safely by millions of people and regulation on legal ownership will prove ineffective in dealing with a criminal’s resolve to commit any violent acts, while leaving the root causes of these crimes unaddressed. Identifying potential perpetrators and providing security to the innocent is not an easy task, but is the only effective way to prevent violent crimes.
Vermont firearm owners and organizations are proactive about gun safety much like the DMV is with automotive safety. Groups like ours promote sportsmanship, positive community interaction, and self regulating responsibility. Any time a group of people is singled out when they are doing nothing legally or morally wrong it encourages other forms of intolerance. We feel this is a basic civil liberty and should be respected as all others are.