The fact that responsible gun ownership is even considered a controversial idea is mind boggling. Is anyone really promoting irresponsible gun ownership? Sadly, the NH Republican party, currently in the majority in the legislature, is doing just that. This past year was another low point for those who have no issue with the 2nd amendment, but only want to prevent those who should not have guns from so easily acquiring them. And, in the face of the sheer numbers of heart-breaking mass shootings that have already occurred this year, the cavalier attitude of Republicans will only become more extreme in the next session as they anticipate the public’s demand for legislation that will curb gun violence. It is well worth noting that “in 2020, firearm-related injuries became the leading cause of death” for children between the age of 1-19 years, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.
Looking back at the past legislative session, the following sensible gun legislation was blocked by the Republicans.A bill was submitted designed to close a loophole in online background checks at gun shows, flea markets and private sales. Another bill sought to prohibit the display of deadly weapons at public events such as celebratory parades, funeral processions, vigils, or demonstrations. Finally a bill which would have prohibited guns at polling places, which often happen to be public schools, was killed.
This was basic legislation to remove insidious loopholes in the present laws which will help to ensure that adequate background checks are done and which will protect citizens from feeling threatened in public places. In what world is this objectionable?
Legislation put forward by Republicans had the opposite goal, including gutting anything that supports responsible gun ownership, gutting background checks, allowing the brandishing of weapons anywhere including all public places, and prohibiting local municipalities from establishing their own gun free zones. There was even an attempt to make it unconstitutional to pass any legislation on gun safety.
Perhaps the worst proposal put forth and passed by the Republicans is HB1178. This bill would prohibit state law enforcement agencies from enforcing federal gun laws. The governor just signed this bill into law.
WMUR reported that, “House Bill 1178 was written with the intent of ‘prohibiting the state from enforcing any federal statute, regulation or presidential executive order that restricts or regulates the right of the people to keep and bear arms’.” This means that if there were federal regulations of any kind, NH state law enforcement personnel would be prohibited from enforcing those regulations, and such enforcement would be up to federal officers. Since guns are often involved in a crime, this would seriously complicate how federal and state agencies work together.
According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, 56% of people support a ban on assault weapons, 86% support red flag laws designed to keep weapons out of the hands of people presenting a danger to their communities, their families and to themselves. Fully 89% of citizens support basic background checks prior to purchasing a firearm.
A common reason put forth in opposition to responsible gun legislation is that such laws would penalize responsible gun owners. If indeed they are so responsible, such legislation would in no way impact them. Why then, do they continue to promote legislation that puts our citizens and our children in harm’s way? Why do they not show a shred of concern for the safety of Granite Staters?
One answer is that the majority of Republicans in office today care more about maintaining their personal arsenal of weapons than they do about the safety of our children. They will tell you that is not true. However, if you look at their actions, even in just this last legislative session, you will see that it is, in fact, true.
And what does majority leader Jason Osborne propose to keep children in our schools safe? His suggestion is that firearms training should be taught at every grade level in public schools. In other words, arm the children.
This is beyond absurd and we must not let this continue. Please help by supporting Democrats in the upcoming election.
Posted on 28 Jun 2022, 11:03 - Category: NH Legislature