“That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State – and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.”


Vermont is a does-not-issue, constitutional carry state. All gun sales must be completed through a licensed firearms dealer. Vermont does not require permits to purchase or firearms registration. Both open carry and concealed carry are legal without a permit. Any person 16 or older can carry openly or concealed. Therefore, the state does not issue permits. Vermont does not have a Castle Doctrine or a “stand your ground” law, but courts have consistently ruled that there is no duty to retreat. 

Reciprocal Carry

Vermont does not require a permit to carry a concealed or open weapon within the state.

Duty To Notify Police Officer

Vermont allows anyone who can legally possess a firearm to carry it concealed without a permit of any kind.

Carrying Firearms In Vehicles

Vermont permits any who may legally possess firearms to carry them in vehicles, but long guns must be kept unloaded.

NFA Items

Vermont permits ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law.

Self-Defense Laws

Vermont does not have a Castle Doctrine or SYG law, but courts have consistently ruled that there is no duty to retreat when attacked in Your dwelling. You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, or the commission of a forcible felony.

Carry In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

You are allowed to carry into any establishment that serves alcohol, including bars. If there is a “No Guns” sign, You are prohibited from carrying into the establishment.

Do “No Gun Signs” Have The Force Of Law?

If a property or establishment has a “No Guns” sign or the person in lawful possession communicates to You that guns are not allowed, You are prohibited from carrying on the property or into the establishment. Failure to obey such signs or verbal warnings constitutes Unlawful Trespass and is punishable by up to three years in prison or a fine of up to $500.

Open Carry

Open carry is legal in Vermont. The minimum age for open carry is lower in Vermont, but federal law states that you must be 18 to possess a handgun.

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As such, the GLBSG is not intended to supplant, nor limit, Your need for independent verification of any and all material contained herein and consultation with competent counsel of choice regarding any specific issues.

This type of specific legal analysis is necessarily beyond the general educational objective of the GLBSG and for which a bar-admitted attorney in the particular state(s) is needed and required. The content of this GLBSG is a general restatement of the law.

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