For far too long, firearms owners have faced arrest and prosecution just for having in their car, a loaded rifle or shotgun.
This is a “possessory” only firearms offense. Such laws are common in places with nasty, repressive firearm laws, e.g., New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. In such places, a law-abiding person can be turned into a criminal just for having a 30-round magazine or hollow-point ammunition. It is simply wrong for a New Hampshire resident to be put on the wrong side of the law, just for having in his/her car a loaded rifle or shotgun. Other states do not have such a prohibition.
Consider this, if you or anyone you know, owns or uses a motor home, they cannot keep a loaded shotgun in that motor home for self defense. This is because the ban includes all motor vehicles, with no exceptions!
You should not lose your right to self defense just because you are in a motor home.
Supporters of the rifle and shotgun ban claim that it helps to curb poaching. RUBBISH!!! Poachers – by definition are law-breakers – ignore the ban and other controls on hunting.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, has, for far to long used their name and resources to oppose legislation that is protective of Second Amendment civil rights. Poachers can abuse many other items often kept in cars: flashlights, snacks, etc. Bears adore doughnuts, snack cakes, etc. We wonder, is the Department next going to try to ban flashlights and doughnuts from being carried in cars? Will Fish and Game Officers stake-out Dunkin’ Donuts? The prohibition on loaded rifles and shotguns in vehicles is an anti-Second Amendment law and it must be repealed.
Rep. Proulx sponsored a similar bill in 2016. That bill was met by stiff anti-gun opposition from the Chief of Fish & Game Law Enforcement, Colonel Kevin Jordan. Click here to read a report on anti-gun Colonel Jordan. We expect similar opposition this year. It is vital that you attend the hearing on January 17 and make your voice heard!
The ban on loaded rifles/shotguns in cars simply promotes the entrapment of the law-abiding. We have received reports from the field that when hunters are exiting the woods, sometimes, a Fish and Game Officer is waiting near their vehicle and asks to see a hunting license. The hunter, who is properly licensed, immediately complies and when he does so he sometimes places his rifle on his vehicle and then receives a ticket for a loaded rifle in or on a vehicle. HB 84 will stop this sort of abuse.
Further, AR-type rifles – especially those with collapsible stocks – are an excellent all-purpose self-defense firearm, for in-home or in-vehicle use.
75% of New Hampshire residents live in rural areas: a sudden encounter with a wild animal or criminal is a daily risk and law enforcement in rural areas could take as long as 30 or 40 minutes to respond. Cars break-down. Tires go flat. Those driving in rural areas should ALWAYS have handy a loaded rifle or shotgun. Helping the law abiding to protect themselves is far more important than preventing poaching!
The 25% of us, who do live in cities or big towns, shouldn’t be at risk of prosecution for having a loaded rifle or shotgun in our car or truck, in an area where’s there’s nothing to hunt (except maybe bargains on Route 101A in Amherst or Nashua or South Willow Street in Manchester).
Further, a New Hampshire Supreme Court decision requires any police officer – wishing to search a car – to get a search warrant. Your car is just like your home! Therefore, just as you may possess a loaded rifle or shotgun in your home, you should be able to carry a loaded rifle or shotgun in your car.
Here is what you can do to help. Click here to send an email to all of the members of New Hampshire House Fish and Game and Marine Resources. Urge them to vote HB 84 “ought to pass” without any amendments!
If you are available on Tuesday, January 17, please attend the hearing in the Legislative Office Building Room 307. Please either sign the blue form that you support HB 84 or fill in a pink card and request to speak in favor of the bill.
Please click here to email all members of the House Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee. Click here for a committee roster, if you live in one of their districts please call or send a personalized email. Please remember to be polite but firm when you ask them to vote HB 84 “ought to pass” without any amendments!
Urge your legislators to vote for 84. It will make New Hampshire residents safer, from abusive conservation officers and violent criminals.
Thanks for your support.
Vice President & Training Director – NHFC