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Vermont (courtesy

That’s the headline over at the anti-gun agitprop machine known as Bottom line: Massachusetts blames Vermont for the fact that their gun control laws aren’t controlling guns. Illegal guns. Well, both Bernie’s home state and New Hampshire. And Maine. And Georgia. And Florida. Basically, any state that doesn’t “control the private sale of firearms.” Because we all know that criminals are stymied by “universal background checks.” Anyway, here’s The Trace’s evidence that the drugs-for-guns trade is booming in Bernie’s back yard. . .

The flow of guns on a stretch of Interstate 91 running from western Massachusetts north to Vermont has become such a well-known trafficking route that officials have dubbed it “the iron pipeline.” Police routinely find drugs, or guns, or both during traffic stops.

In February, police in Northampton, Massachusetts discovered $20,000 worth of heroin and two stolen guns during an early morning stop. A month later, a few miles up I-91, police found 230 baggies of heroin in a car headed to New Hampshire.

A nickname does not a trend make. Nor a single anecdote. Following the link to The Boston Globe provided by Trace scribe Dan Friedman, we get an idea of the number of “crime guns” that [allegedly] comprise the catchy-sounding “iron pipeline” between the Green Mountain State and the Bay State.

From January 2011 through January of this year, ATF officials said, authorities in Springfield recovered 12 guns at crime scenes that they traced to Vermont, more than any other state outside Massachusetts.

Twelve? Twelve. informs us that Massachusetts was home to 118 “gun murders” in 2010. Twelve guns traced from The Green Mountain State to the Bay State — in five years — is equivalent to roughly ten percent of one year’s total “gun murder” stat.

Which is why Friedman resorts to the anecdotal evidence combined with unsubstantiated generalizations by cops with an anti-gun axe to grind.

The intersection of the gun and drug trade is fueling violence, officials say. Weinberger says that a rare fatal shooting in his city in 2015 was the result of a drug deal gone awry.

Other drugs are often in the mix. In 2014, a Massachusetts man murdered a woman with a 9mm Glock that he bought in Brattleboro, Vermont, in exchange for crack cocaine, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives . . .

Many local officials say inconsistent gun laws are fueling the trade. Most northeastern states have enacted laws that extend background check requirements for gun purchases to include firearms sold at gun shows and unlicensed dealers. But Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine do not require such checks on private sales, making it easier for people with criminal records to buy guns in those states, and move them around New England.

“We have good gun laws in Massachusetts, but our problem is most of the guns that seem to be coming in and being used in crimes are coming from other states,” Boston Police Commissioner William Evans tells The Trace. “It’s hard for us when so many come from our border states that have lax laws.”

Seem to be coming in.” Gotcha. Not a word about Massachusetts gun owners defending themselves by force of arms, of course. As the Globe famously and mistakenly headlined an editorial about Jimmy Carter, more mush from the wimp.

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    • If only cocaine and heroin were illegal, we wouldn’t have this problem of drugs and guns coming into Massachusetts.

      • Beat me to it. I figured if you needed a background check to buy crack or heroin, this should certainly solve the problem. It’s just common sense.

  1. So what they are saying is guns aren’t the problem???!

    Vermont is loaded with guns and has like 0.6 homicides per 100,000 people. Must be the people then – not the guns. Since the people of Massachusetts are slaughtering each other in heroine craving gang violence.

    • “Weinberger says that a rare fatal shooting in his city in 2015 was the result of a drug deal gone awry.”

      I love statements like this. If drug deals go OK, they’re illegal. If they go awry, they’re illegal. If you’re engaged in illegal activities, what’s one more? Carpenters carry a hammer. Artists, a sketchbook. Dealers? Tool of choice in a dangerous business (which they chose).

    • That touches to the quick of the antis’ approach, doesn’t it? For such emotion laden souls, they sure seem to lack any sense of shame for regularly doling out deceits in defense of their beliefs, don’t you find?

  2. Any question of why gun control doesn’t work is always answered by blame being passed off on someone or something else. They are psychologically crippled individuals that frequently band together for group support because most normal people don’t respond well to their foolishness. Logic is foreign to people who depend on emotional appeal for direction.

    • And frankly because some states will always have differing amounts of gun control, those with more crime will always be able to blame those states with less — no matter how much gun control is increased.

      The simple fact is demographically comparable same region sates with more gun control and less legal gun ownership all have more murder.

      Maryland is same region, very close age, income, education average to Virginia. They share major metro (DC) and have their own major metros (Richmond, Baltimore). Maryland gets an “A” or “A-” for gun control, Virginia gets a D or F. Virginia has nearly 20 times the number of civilian (non LEO, non Corrections) gun carry permits.

      yet not only does Maryland have much more murder, Maryland exports more murderers. Five times as many murders and violent crimes were committed in DC by Maryland residents compared to Virginia residents. Meaning Seven times as much actually given the population sizes. for every murder committed in Maryland by a Virginia resident there are three murders committed in Virginia by a Maryland resident.

      NPR made a huge deal out of Navy yard shooter buying his firearm in Virginia. They never once mentioned had he been a DC or Maryland resident he could have bought the exact same firearm in Maryland and DC (buying in Maryland and bringing to DC legally) and with the DC or Md, gun laws there was NO impediment. It was a pump action Remington 870 tactical, 100% legal in DC

  3. Hey RF, how about this – how about researching how many crime guns come from high-restriction states and make it into low-restriction states? It would be comical as hell if it turned out that just as many “crime guns” in Vermont come from Massachusetts!

    • Wait – I think I’ve got it already.

      According to the WaPo, in 2014, nearly twice as many guns were bought in Massachusetts and used for a crime in another state (228) than there were in Vermont (132). There were almost as “crime guns” that originated in the gun control paradise of California (1,827) than there were from Indiana (1,976), which as we all know is the source of the scourge of gun violence in Chicago.

      How’s this for fun – Massachusetts is blaming Vermont as the source of their crime guns, but Massachusetts’ neighboring state (New York) was a source of five times as many “crime guns” as Vermont.

      Now, of course I’m not taking into account “rate per 1000 residents” or anything like that, just looking at the numbers, because it’s entertaining and we all know how numbers can be spun into stories.

      • And New York has far more restrictions on firearms than Vermont.

        Speaking of Mass, where’s “Mike the Gun Guy” these days?

        • “where’s “Mike the Gun Guy” these days?”

          He popped into TTAG to comment a few months back.

          It was a pleasure to flame him.


      • TTAG – can we PLEASE do an article about this, complete with some nice clear visuals? That would be an *awesome* resource during discussions about the “Iron Pipeline”.

  4. “Massachusetts blames Vermont for the fact that their gun control laws aren’t controlling guns.”

    So, if government closes one distribution channel, criminals will simply obtain what they want through another distribution channel? I am shocked, SHOCKED I SAY!

  5. How long will Vermont be able to resist the Democrat scum? 100 years later, their Supreme Court will NOT defend their right to bear arms again. Indeed, they have permitless carry because of a very unusual and heroic supreme court decision in the 1900’s.

  6. You gotta be kidding me. Guns to Massachusetts from Vermont? Massachusetts doesn’t even get most of its maple syrup from Vermont.

    • Yeah, but Vermonters clutch their maple syrup like Massholes clutch their pearls, so it isn’t that surprising that Mass can’t get much in the way of maple syrup out of Vermont. 😉

  7. The Trace got the answer they wanted, simply because their agenda fits the agenda of the authorities in Mass. It’s a propaganda orgy.

  8. As a long time resident of VT, this nonsense just pisses me off. Leave VT alone. Its almost literally, the least of our problems. This is just as bad as crooked hitlery telling everyone that new yorks gun violence was due to vermonts lax gun control. Her and Bumberg would make a match made in hell. Yes we have fewer restrictions on guns, but we also have high taxes and a rising heroin problem… We also have extremely low gun violence. Perhaps theres a reason for that… Even in dumbocrat run VT. Blphhhh. Frustrated!

  9. Massachusetts, is simply trying to externalize the costs for their inability/unwillingness to control their criminals. In typical leftie fashion, they want their neighbors to bear the burden of a problem that should be their responsibility.

  10. If so much crime is caused in Massachusetts by guns coming from Vermont, why isn’t there as much crime in Vermont?

  11. This feels like Bloomberg’s last attack on Sanders before the California primary where Hillary may squeak out a win, but will run poorly and show her vulnerability.

  12. With the attitude of the leftist in Massachusetts, I am certain that there will be a fence and border control points between Vermont and Massachusetts some day, so problem solved. Criminals from Massachusetts will just have to stay in Massachusetts instead of infesting Vermont or other states.

  13. “Unlicensed dealer?”

    Hmmm… mean “criminal?” They make it sound as though there’s some loophole being exploited in Vermont that allows them to escape already-ineffective background checks. There isn’t. Dealing in guns for regular commercial gain, without a federal firearms license, is a crime.

    It’s fun to play with words, though.
    “Unauthorized driver” You mean car thief?
    “Univited guest” You mean home invader?
    “Unlicensed pharmacist” You mean crack dealer?
    “Undocumented immigrant” You mean illegal alien?

    Anyway, directly buying a handgun outside your state of residence is already a crime. Interstate sales of handguns must take place between FFLs, per federal law. That’s why your Bud’s or Armlist buys must go through a local FFL transfer. It doesn’t matter what Vermont’s laws are. Massachusetts is just mass-excuse-making. (You mean lying? See what I did there?)

  14. What a load of horseshit. I drive up 91 through CT, MA, VT, and into NH and I will see 1 police officer parked on the side of the highway on average for all 4 states. Sometimes more (IIRC 4-5 is the most I’ve seen) and occasionally none. If it was that big of a problem why don’t they step up patrols? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking for that, but it’s the obvious answer.

    Related but unrelated.
    Lets count all the ways I can think of it being dangerous driving in NH or VT. Higher possibility of hitting moose or deer. Let’s count all the ways I cant think of it being dangerous driving in MA. First is obviously MA drivers, second is the MA DOT can’t seem to place the correct road signs ever (lots of left lane closed when the right is closed etc), you have to pass through Springfield which is like the wild west and has even worse drivers than normal MA drivers, then you have the loveliest parts of Holyoke to pass through, then I feel like I have to hold my breath the whole drive and hope I don’t get f’d for nothing by the infamous MA State Police who supposedly love to target out of state vehicles (one followed me from the VT border to CT border one time, no idea why he never decided to pull me over but it made the drive take forever), then there is the perpetual road work, the time I hit 1ft of standing water on the highway at 75 (that wasn’t fun), I also swear on a stack of bibles I went through a check point near route 2 setup in the middle of 91 once, and I’m sure many more incidents I can’t think of right now.

  15. Our police do their jobs well but our court system is garbage. Many of those arrested for drugs, even violent re-offenders, are pretty much guaranteed to be out on the streets practicing their trade after minimal time in prison. One offender was sentenced to 5 to 15 years for his violent second felony in 2010. He was back on the streets in 2015 after spending about 4 years in prison. Since his release he have proven himself to be a pathological liar, thief, and all around scumbag. What is the point of even arresting and charging people like this if their sentence is little more than a hug and promise that they’ll try not to re-offend? We have a heroine and gun problem in Vermont and our courts don’t care. Maybe if the state took a less pansy stance and punished accordingly we would have fewer junkies and criminals moving here. Vermont is seen as a great place for transients, criminals, and those in the dope trade because they know that we have relaxed sentencing and easily attainable welfare. I’m disabled due to illness and barely get enough to live on while these people come from out of state to buy and sell drugs while collecting benefits. It disgusts me.


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