By Lee Williams 

A Vermont “environmental” court judge has ordered shooting range owner Daniel Banyai be arrested and held in state prison until he or the town he’s been feuding with for years over zoning issues – Pawlet, Vermont, population 1,386 – destroys all the structures on his private range. 

This week, Judge Thomas Durkin, of the environmental division of Vermont’s superior court. issued a rarely seen writ of mittimus – a type of arrest warrant – to all law enforcement officers in the state…

Banyai and Pawlet town officials have been feuding over his 30-acre range, which Banyai calls Slate Ridge, since he purchased the property in July 2013…


“A lot of people are floored that Daniel will end up in prison over a zoning violation,” Banyai’s attorney Robert J. Kaplan told the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project Thursday night…

Kaplan said that there are additional factors that aren’t fully explained in the court documents. 

“A lot of people in the community didn’t like the fact that Daniel offered people a place to shoot, and it’s a dynamic facility, not just a flat range,” Kaplan said. “Vermont has a lot of leftists. Guns scare them and people moving around with guns really scares them. The people in the town formed a posse to drive the new guy out of town – over zoning issues.” 

A Vermont “environmental” court judge has ordered Daniel Banyai (right) arrested for zoning violations involving his private shooting range, which the judge ordered destroyed. (Photo Courtesy Vermont Superior Court, Environmental Division.)

Kaplan pointed out that after municipal and environmental laws failed, Pawlet officials approached Vermont State Senator Phillip Baruth for help. He quickly sponsored a bill making it a felony to operate a “paramilitary training camp” within the state.

Baruth, a liberal Democrat from Burlington, admitted he introduced the bill after Pawlet officials complained there was no state law that they could use to force Banyai to shutter his private range on his private property. 

In May, Vermont’s Gov. Phil Scott — a Republican — signed the bill into law…

Federal lawsuit 

Kaplan said Banyai had no choice but to file a federal civil rights lawsuit, which alleges violations of his Second Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The defendants include the Town of Pawlet, Judge Thomas S. Durkin and 20 unnamed defendants identified as John and Jane Does, because their identities are not known. 

In his suit, Kaplan points out prejudicial statements made by numerous officials – including Vermont’s governor – condemning Banyai and his range. The statements were published in The New York Times, This American Life radio program, and numerous other media outlets… 

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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.


4 thoughts on “AGENDA 21? Vermont range owner, accused of offering ‘Paramilitary Training,’ ordered jailed until his range is torn down”
  1. A “republican” governor signed this bill. Another pos rino identified. This case is so wrong on so many issues.

  2. Dark times indeed. They have specifically violated his constitutional rights. As well as his God given rights. This will have to work it’s way through the courts. And we all know that could take to infinity and beyond.

  3. What’s up with all the screwed up diamonds? I’ve heard this guy was a total POS to his neighbors. Sovereign Citizen type crap. Don’t know if that’s just mainstream media defaming him or if it’s true. If it is as reported, then Mr. Environmental Judge needs to become unemployed at best… or imprisoned himself.

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