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MONTPELIER — The Vermont Supreme Court has agreed to consider an appeal of a lower court's determination that a statewide ban on high-capacity magazines is constitutional, according to an order dated Aug. 7.

The defendant in the criminal case on appeal, Max Misch, a white nationalist and gun control opponent who lives in Bennington, was charged in February with two counts of violating the statute, which took effect Oct. 1. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Bennington County Superior Court Judge William Cohen ordered the matter reported to the appellate court on July 19 following a joint request made by Misch's counsel and the Vermont Attorney General's office, which is prosecuting the case.

Cohen ruled in late June that the magazine ban does not violate the Vermont Constitution's common benefits clause or an article that pertains to the right to bear arms.

A court clerk told the Banner that the appeal is at a preliminary stage and that it might be heard in about three to six months. If the full court hears the appeal, "a decision may take several months," according to general information available on the Vermont Judiciary website.

If the Vermont Supreme Court "finds the statute unconstitutional, the charges against Mr. Misch would have to be dismissed, as these are based solely on the challenged statute," Cohen wrote in the July 19 order.

Misch has admitted to "trolling" former state Rep. Kiah Morris around the time she filed complaints of racially motivated harassment and threats. The Attorney General's office announced in January that Morris, who is African American, was a "victim of racial harassment" but found no grounds for criminal charges.

Contact Luke Nathan at lnathan@benningtonbanner.com.


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