NATIONAL NEWS

Vermont bans owning, running paramilitary training camps

May 8, 2023, 1:10 PM

Vermont on Monday made it a crime to own or operate paramilitary training camps in the state after Republican Gov. Phil Scott signed legislation introduced in response to a firearms training facility built without permits that neighbors called a menace.

Violators face up to five years in prison or a fine up to $50,000 or both, according to the law. It prohibits a person from teaching, training, or demonstrating to anyone else the use, application, or making of a firearm, explosive, or incendiary device capable of causing injury or death that will be used in or in furtherance of a civil disorder. It also bans a person from assembling with others for such training, instruction or practice.

The gun violence prevention group led by former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, of Arizona, who was forced to give up her political career when she was disabled in a 2011 assassination attempt, praised Vermont’s law.

“Today, Vermont joins 25 other states that prohibit firearms training for anti-government paramilitary activity,” said Allison Anderman, senior counsel and the leader of Giffords’ Guns & Democracy project. “Private paramilitary activity is illegal in Vermont and has been associated with the intimidation of people exercising their constitutional rights across the US,” she said by email. “This is a commonsense policy that will help reduce the spread of dangerous, illegal, and anti-government firearms intimidation.”

The Vermont law does not apply to legitimate law enforcement activity or lawful activity by Norwich University or any other educational institution where military science is taught. it also doesn’t apply to self-defense instruction or practice without the intent of causing a civil disorder; firearms instruction that is intended to teach the safe handling and use of firearms; and any lawful sports or activities like hunting, target shooting and firearms collection.

New Mexico legislature that sought to rein in paramilitary patrols created in recent years to halt migrants near the international border with Mexico. A paramilitary patrol in New Mexico appeared at a protest over a statue of a Spanish conquistador.

The owner of the 30-acre firearms training center in southern Vermont has until summer to remove all unpermitted structures on the site in Pawlet. Neighbors have complained about the gunfire and what they say are threats and intimidation by owner Daniel Banyai and his supporters.

The Vermont Environmental Court said that Banyai was in contempt of court for deliberately flouting a series of court orders issued since the legal case began in 2019 and now faces jail and fines that could exceed $100,000 if he fails to comply by June 23.

Banyai did not respond to a text seeking comment.

______

Rathke reported from Marshfield, Vermont. Associated Press reporter Wilson Ring contributed from Stowe, Vermont.

____

This story has been corrected to reflect that the New Mexico bill on paramilitary patrols failed.

National News

Associated Press

Pursuit of Milwaukee carjacking suspects ends with police shooting 2 teens in stolen vehicle

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A police pursuit of carjacking suspects in Milwaukee ended Thursday with police firing into the vehicle and injuring two teens, one of whom was pregnant and lost her baby, Milwaukee police said. Officers tried to stop the stolen vehicle just before 2:30 p.m. on Interstate 43 north of Milwaukee. The pursuit ended […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

How Biden and Trump are taking very different approaches to preparing for next week’s debate

NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden begins an intense period of private preparations Friday at Camp David for what may be the most consequential presidential debate in decades. The 81-year-old Democrat’s team is aware he cannot afford an underwhelming performance when he faces Republican rival Donald Trump for 90 minutes on live television June […]

10 hours ago

Associated Press

2 crop dusting airplanes collided in southern Idaho, killing 1 pilot and severely injuring the other

ARCO, Idaho (AP) — Two crop dusting airplanes collided near an airport in southern Idaho on Thursday and crashed to the ground, killing one of the pilots and leaving the other with life-threatening injuries, officials said. The crash was reported at about 12:30 p.m. in an area covered by sage and grass near the airport […]

10 hours ago

Associated Press

Appeals court panel refuses to delay Trump ally Steve Bannon’s 4-month contempt prison sentence

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court panel on Thursday rejected longtime Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon’s bid to stay out of prison while he fights his conviction for defying a subpoena from the House committee that investigated the U.S. Capitol attack. Bannon is supposed to report to prison by July 1 to begin serving […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

Gold bars and Sen. Bob Menendez’s curiosity about their price takes central role at bribery trial

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors showed jurors at Sen. Bob Menendez ’s trial on Thursday multiple instances when he researched the value of gold as he tried to help a New Jersey businessman who authorities say bribed him with gold and cash. The evidence about the Democrat’s online searches was prominently displayed to a New […]

15 hours ago

Associated Press

Bill allowing doctor-assisted suicide in Delaware fails in Senate

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A bill allowing doctor-assisted suicide in Delaware failed to win approval in the state Senate on Thursday after narrowly clearing the House earlier this year, but it could come back next week. The legislation failed in the Democrat-led Senate in a 9-9 tie after three members of the Democratic caucus spoke […]

16 hours ago

Vermont bans owning, running paramilitary training camps