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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Vermont
Nikolas P. Kerest, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, April 30, 2024

U.S. Attorney’s Office Highlights Focus on Gun Safety Efforts in Vermont

Burlington, Vermont – On April 30, 2024, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont hosted a press conference to highlight the efforts of the GunSafeVT initiative and to discuss how Vermont is promoting secure gun storage and how secure gun storage can help address the many types of gun violence in the state.

U.S. Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest described the initiative’s accomplishments over the past year, which included two PSAs explaining the importance of secure storage, launch of the website, promotion of Vermont State Police’s program to have Federal Firearms Licensees serve as secure gun storage locations, and the distribution of over 4,000 free, cable gun locks around the state. U.S. Attorney Kerest also explained updates to the website, partnerships with the Howard Center and libraries around the state for effective gun lock distribution, and plans to distribute additional gun locks over the next year.

Also at the press conference, Vermont Attorney General Charity Clark spoke about Vermont’s secure gun storage statute, relief from abuse orders, extreme risk protection orders, and the importance of secure gun storage in preventing domestic violence. Mark Margolis of the Howard Center and Dr. Rebecca Bell of UVM Medical Center and the Vermont Medical Society both explained how secure gun storage helps reduce the likelihood of suicide involving firearms. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Resident Agent in Charge Alex Schmidt addressed the connection between unsecured and stolen firearms and crime around Vermont.

This gun safe storage initiative is the result of collaboration among many partners, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District Vermont, the UVM Medical Center, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Vermont State Police, the Vermont Attorney General’s Office, the Vermont Sheriffs’ Association, the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, Vermont’s Office of the Director of Violence Prevention, the Howard Center, the Vermont Medical Society, the Vermont Department of Children and Families, and the Vermont Library Association.

U.S. Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest thanked all of the initiative partners for their important contributions and also stated, “Secure gun storage accomplishes many positive things. Secure gun storage keeps people safe in times of crisis, keeps guns out of the wrong hands, and keeps your gun safe. In short, secure gun storage is smart gun storage.”

All of the relevant information related to this secure storage initiative is compiled on the website –


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