The 2014 Vermont General Assembly passed Act 191 creating the provisions for the relinquishment and storage of firearms, ammunition and weapons when a court orders such relinquishment as part of a relief-from-abuse order.
Relinquishment and Storage of Firearms
The statutory provisions of T. 20 § 2307 as passed by both the House and Senate can be found at https://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/20/145/02307. The Vermont State Police have compiled a list of federally licensed firearms dealers (FFLs) in the state that are willing to accept firearms for temporary storage due to a protection order or for other safekeeping reasons.
To locate a facility, please click on one of the firearm icons below in your area.
If you are experiencing domestic violence involving a family or household member, you may be eligible for a relief-from-abuse order from the Vermont Family Court: https://www.vermontjudiciary.org/family/relief-abuse#forms. The court can require the person causing harm to surrender any firearms. If the order is granted, the police will serve a copy of the order on the person and request immediate surrender of any firearms. Once the firearms are relinquished to law enforcement, the law enforcement agency may store the firearms with a FFL. Studies have shown that if you or a loved one have experienced domestic violence, having a firearm in the home greatly increases the risk of homicide.
If you are concerned about firearms that belong to someone OTHER than a family or household member, a law enforcement agency may be able to obtain a court order called an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO), which requires a gun owner to surrender firearms. Only a state’s attorney or the Attorney General's Office may file an ERPO petition.
It is not necessary for a gun owner to have a court order to voluntarily store firearms with an FFL. However, law enforcement agencies typically will assist with relinquishment only if there is a court order that requires the gun owner to relinquish the firearm(s).
Why do gun owners sometimes store firearms away from the home?
- Someone in the home is experiencing mental health or substance use concerns.
- A teenager in the home is in crisis and at risk for suicide.
- They are travelling out of state and want to keep firearms secure while they are away.
- Grandchildren or young children are visiting.
- There is a history of domestic violence or threats of domestic violence or self-harm.
- The homeowner is listing the home for sale and wants firearms to be secure while showings occur.
How do I arrange storage?
All the businesses on the map are open at different hours during the year. You should first call the business and ask the following:
- What hours are you open to accept firearms for storage?
- What are the costs for storage?
- How should I bring the firearm(s) to you?
- What documentation will I need to provide when I pick up my firearm(s)?
Please be sure that all firearms that you bring in for storage are UNLOADED.
What if I need help?
If you or a loved one are experiencing domestic violence and need help, please contact the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence at vtnetwork.org/get-help or by calling 800-228-7395.
If you or a loved one are experiencing any other crisis, such as thoughts of self-harm, please call or text 988 for support and help in your area.
Interested in becoming a storage facility?
Any law enforcement agency may become a cooperating law enforcement agency for the purposes of being a qualified storage location. They may be designated a storage location for those individuals living within their jurisdictions, or they may wish to be considered a storage location for owners outside of their jurisdictions.
Any federally licensed firearms dealer also may become a qualified storage location.
Law enforcement agencies and federally licensed firearms dealers should become familiar with the guidelines and complete the compliance form if they would like to be considered to be a qualified storage location. Once the form is received and the agency or business is approved, they will be placed on a list of approved storage locations. The form should be returned to the following address.
Lieutenant Letourneau can be reached through the St. Johnsbury office.
1068 U.S. Route 5, Suite #1
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819