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Judge orders arrest of gun training center owner in Vermont

by Gabriel Martinez
5 comments
gun training center owner

Gun Training Center Owner in Vermont Ordered for Arrest by Judge

In a recent development, a judge has issued an order for the arrest of the owner of a controversial firearms training center in Vermont. The owner, Daniel Banyai, must provide proof that certain portions of the sprawling 30-acre facility, known as Slate Ridge, have been either removed or demolished.

Slate Ridge encompasses multiple buildings and two firing ranges, spanning an area equivalent to 30 football fields (12 hectares). Due to complaints from neighboring residents, the town of Pawlet has been attempting, albeit unsuccessfully, for several years to compel Banyai to dismantle structures that he constructed without obtaining the necessary permits.

This latest order, issued by the Vermont Environmental Court, represents another attempt to hold Banyai accountable, as he has already accumulated fines exceeding $100,000 this year alone. The arrest, which can be carried out by a constable or county sheriff, is required to take place within the next 60 days.

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Efforts to reach Banyai for comment have been unsuccessful, and his lawyer has not yet responded to the request for comment. The lawyer representing Pawlet has declined to provide any statements regarding the order.

Slate Ridge’s neighbors have long expressed concerns about the frequent sound of gunfire and alleged threats and intimidation from Banyai and his supporters. Many residents are reluctant to speak publicly due to safety concerns.

Banyai described his property as a safe and environmentally friendly place for individuals to engage in firearms discharge, as well as offering lessons in first aid and various outdoor activities related to firearms. However, in 2019, the town issued a violation notice to Banyai for constructing multiple structures on the property without proper zoning approval. Subsequently, in March 2021, the Environmental Court directed Banyai to cease all firearms training at the center and remove any structures lacking permits.

Banyai’s appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court was rejected in January 2022.

In response to the situation at Slate Ridge, Vermont State Senator Philip Baruth, a Democrat and Progressive from Burlington, introduced legislation in the Legislature this year to ban paramilitary training centers within the state. The bill successfully passed and was signed into law by Republican Governor Phil Scott in May.

Violators of the law may face up to five years of imprisonment, a fine of up to $50,000, or both. It prohibits individuals from teaching, training, or demonstrating the use, application, or creation of firearms, explosives, or incendiary devices capable of causing harm or death, particularly in relation to civil disorder. Additionally, it prohibits assembling with others for such training, instruction, or practice.

Banyai purchased the property in 2013 and began operating what he referred to as a firearms training facility in 2017, despite the property being solely permitted for a garage with an attached apartment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about gun training center owner

Q: What is the reason behind the arrest order for the owner of the gun training center in Vermont?

A: The owner of the gun training center, Daniel Banyai, has been ordered for arrest due to his failure to provide proof of removing or demolishing certain parts of the facility, which were constructed without permits. He has also accumulated significant fines and has been unresponsive to previous attempts to hold him accountable.

Q: What is the status of the property known as Slate Ridge?

A: Slate Ridge is a 30-acre facility in Vermont that includes multiple buildings and firing ranges. However, the owner, Daniel Banyai, has been in violation of regulations by constructing structures without proper permits, leading to ongoing disputes with the town of Pawlet.

Q: What actions have been taken by the town and the court prior to the arrest order?

A: The town of Pawlet has been attempting to compel Daniel Banyai to remove the unpermitted structures for several years. The Vermont Environmental Court has issued fines amounting to over $100,000, and in March 2021, ordered Banyai to cease firearms training and remove the unauthorized structures. However, these actions have been ineffective, leading to the recent arrest order.

Q: What are the concerns raised by the neighbors of Slate Ridge?

A: Neighbors have expressed concerns about the frequent sound of gunfire, as well as alleged threats and intimidation by Banyai and his supporters. Many neighbors are reluctant to speak out publicly due to fears for their safety.

Q: What legal consequences are associated with violating the ban on paramilitary training centers in Vermont?

A: Violators of the ban on paramilitary training centers in Vermont may face up to five years of imprisonment, a fine of up to $50,000, or both. The law prohibits teaching, training, or demonstrating the use, application, or creation of firearms, explosives, or incendiary devices related to civil disorder, as well as assembling with others for such activities.

Q: When did the ban on paramilitary training centers come into effect and who introduced it?

A: The ban on paramilitary training centers in Vermont was introduced by State Senator Philip Baruth, a Democrat and Progressive from Burlington. The legislation was passed in the Legislature and signed into law by Republican Governor Phil Scott in May.

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5 comments

GunsN'RosesFan July 8, 2023 - 12:42 am

oh no, the neighbors are so afraid, i feel sorry for them. i hope the court will take care of this soon and bring some peace to the area.

Reply
OutdoorEnthusiast July 8, 2023 - 4:31 am

i don’t understand why this guy is making such a big deal. the property is only for a garage, not a full-blown training center. he should have followed the rules from the start!

Reply
GrammarQueen123 July 8, 2023 - 4:49 am

The text is filled with so many spelign mistakes and bad punctuation. it’s really hard to read. someone should proofread it before publishing!

Reply
InfoSeeker27 July 8, 2023 - 7:08 am

Interesting to see how the state senator managed to pass the ban on paramilitary training centers. i wonder what impact it will have on the community and gun enthusiasts in Vermont.

Reply
JaneDoe55 July 8, 2023 - 10:11 am

wow! arsting the guy seems like the only option, he just keps building without permission. about time he faced the consequences.

Reply

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