Latest News from NHFC

SB 500 hearing report, action needed…

by NHFC, Inc. on February 15, 2018

Yesterday, NHFC President Alan Rice (who also represents GOA), Vice President, Paul Marquis, and myself attended the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on SB 500.  Paul spoke for NHFC and Alan spoke for GOA and I did a section by section review of SB 500.  This was an interesting hearing; normally a bill sponsor is the first to speak.  The sponsor will introduce the bill and explain what the intention of the bill is, what problems the bill is attempting to solve and how it will do these things.  That is not what happened.  Yesterday, the prime sponsor, Senator Kevin Avard was the first to address the committee, but instead of talking about SB 500, he instead went on a tirade against you; the gun owners who are NHFC.

Senator Avard told the Committee that NHFC sent a flyer into his district and he submitted a copy for the committee record.  If you don’t live in Senate District 12 you can click here to see our mailing.  Senator Avard complained about the number of calls and emails he received and how much time it was taking to respond to them all.  Instead of listening to the grassroots gun owners who have legitimate concerns about the text of SB 500, he demanded an apology.  But when it was Alan’s turn to speak he told the committee that NHFC will continue to mail and email gun owners and ask them to take action that will protect their civil right to be armed. He was clear there will not be an apology.

For those of you who have been following NHFC regularly, you understand that this is the process.  We follow legislation, analyze it and alert you, the grassroots gun owner and ask you to take action.  I am proud that NHFC is the gun owners representative to the politician instead of being the politicians representative to the gun owner and has been for 14 years!

Just imagine if we hadn’t alerted you to the legislative landmines in SB 500 and it had been passed into law, the likes of Rep. Anne Kuster and Senator Jeanne Shaheen would be in Washington DC rewriting the definition of a firearm.

In an affront to you, NHFC Members and all the grassroots gun owners who called and wrote to Senator Avard to object to SB 500, Senator Avard appears to be taking direction from anti-gun activists and lobbyists. Instead of telling the committee he made a mistake and to kill the bill as you requested, Senator Avard offered an amendment, 2018-0046s to SB 500, an amendment that will make SB 500 even more anti gun.  It still references federal law, and even adds the reference to federal law to yet another section of the New Hampshire R.S.A.s; but the difference is that it specifies in effect on January 1, 2018.  While this guards against future negative changes; but what if Congress really does pass the Hearing Protection Act and deregulates sound suppressors? That would not benefit Granite Staters because we would be stuck with the old federal law forever.  On January 1, 2018, 18 USC 921 included in the definition of a firearm: frames, receivers and silencers.  This amendment does not help us.

Just think, after all the hard work to make it lawful to hunt with a sound suppressor in New Hampshire the anti-gun activists who are giving advice to Sen. Avard would then treat these accessories as firearms.

Furthermore, we are entirely uncomfortable with the language defining loaded.  It appears that if a rifle is loaded and not ready to fire, that is the safety is on, a person could carry it in a motor vehicle.  However, that can potentially set up a gun owner unknowing offense, possibly costing tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.  We have advocated for many years for a complete repeal of the possessory only ban on loaded rifles in vehicles.  It is unclear how this language will be interpreted by a court.  A clean repeal will protect gun owners and leave no room for misinterpretation.  The Avard language leaves it up to a judge to decide if you can carry a loaded rifle or shotgun in your car.

Some of our longtime readers may remember Jay Simkin.  He served on NHFC’s Board of Directors for many years and has been a licensed gun dealer for three decades.  Jay was the last member of the public to speak and he thoroughly discredited the notion that there is any benefit to using federal firearms definitions in New Hampshire laws.  Please click here to read what Jay submitted to the Judiciary Committee. The letter is a phenomenal read, its good to understand how knowledgeable current and former Board Members are about firearms.

The committee has not yet made a decision on SB 500 and there is still time to contact them and insist that SB 500 be voted “inexpedient to legislate”.

We still need you to call and email all Judiciary Committee Members and deliver this prewritten message, by clicking here:

In case the mail to link does not work on your system, I am including a list of the Judiciary Committee members:

Chair – Senator Sharon Carson, Phone 603-271-1403 Sharon.Carson@leg.state.nh.us
Vice Chair Senator Bette R. Lasky, Phone: 603-271-3093 Bette.Lasky@leg.state.nh.us
Senator Harold French, Phone: 603-271-4063 Harold.French@leg.state.nh.us
Senator William Gannon, Phone: 603-271-7803 (Aide): katherine.bourque@leg.state.nh.us 
Senator Martha Hennessey, Phone: 603-271-3067 martha.hennessey@leg.state.nh.us

Prewritten message to Senators:

Please vote SB 500 Inexpedient to Legislate. I heard that Senator Avard offered an amendment that makes a bad bill worse.  SB 500 is an anti-gun bill that will greatly harm New Hampshire firearms owners by using the federal definition of a firearm as well as making radical changes to R.S.A. 207:7 but stops short of repealing this possessory gun ban. The New Hampshire Firearms Coalition told me that we can follow federal law without making it part of New Hampshire law and creating new regulations on frames, receivers and sound suppressors.  Please vote SB 500 ITL.

Thank you

After you write to the Judiciary Committee, please click here to find out who your own senator is and send them the same prewritten message.

If any State Senators respond, please send me a copy: jrhoell@nhfc-ontarget.org

After we attended the hearing for SB 500, Alan and I went to the House Municipal and County Government Committee to oppose HB 1463, the 2018 Range Closure Act.  This dangerous bill will allow cities and towns to set maximum decibel limits on noise and could be used to close longstanding shooting ranges. Sadly, GOA, NHFC and GONH were the only organizations fighting this dangerous bill; none of the so called “gun groups” who are pushing SB 500 were opposing the Range Closure Act.  Please click here to contact the Municipal and County Government Committee and politely request that they vote HB 1463 “inexpedient to legislate”.

In case the mail to link does not work, please send this prewritten message to HouseMunicipalandCountyGovt@leg.state.nh.us:

Dear Representatives,

HB 1463, is a very bad bill that will be abused to force the closure of longstanding shooting ranges.  Please vote HB 1463 “inexpedient to legislate”.  The New Hampshire Firearms Coalition told me that in addition to range closures, HB 1463 might even be used to ban hunting.  Please vote this bad bill ITL.

Thank you.

If any State Representatives respond, please send me a copy: jrhoell@nhfc-ontarget.org

Thanks for your support!

In liberty,

JR Hoell
Corporate Secretary – NHFC, Inc.

Gun control moving in Concord… action needed…

by NHFC, Inc. on February 11, 2018

I’m sure that you recall the emails that we sent you about a terrible anti-gun bill, SB 500 which was introduced by Senator Kevin Avard (R-12) and Senator Jeb Bradley (R-3).  SB 500 attempts to use the federal definition of a firearm in New Hampshire law.

Sadly, these 2 Senators ignored your calls and emails and refused to withdraw SB 500.  The time to withdraw this bill has now passed, the bill is moving so we now need to work on getting the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote SB 500 “inexpedient to legislate”.

I am writing today to let you know the bill is beginning to move forward in the legislative process.  The same people who worked overtime to defeat statewide firearms preemption, are now working to enact SB 500 into law.  We cannot allow that to happen.  It will set firearms freedoms in New Hampshire back decades.

SB 500 has been scheduled for a public hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, February 13, at 9AM in Statehouse Room 100.  If you are able to attend the public hearing that would be terrific.  You do not need to speak publicly if you don’t want to.  You just can sign in opposing SB 500 and not speak.

It is never a good idea to tie state law to federal law.  Federal law can change, we here in New Hampshire might not like that change. However, once the federal definitions change, New Hampshire gun owners would be bound by that change in definitions.  Right now, today, federal law defines firearms to include frames, receivers and silencers. None of these items can fire live ammunition, yet federal law includes these items in the definition of a firearm.   Why would we want to mimic the anti-gun definition contained in the 1968 federal Gun Control Act?

There is a growing national effort to deregulate sound suppressors, which are nothing more than simple tubes designed to protect your hearing.  Even anti-gun countries like Norway encourage the sale of suppressors as health-promotion devices.How ironic would it be if, at the same time we are making progress toward deregulating sound suppressors in the US Congress, that we simultaneously expand regulations on them in New Hampshire?  The irony would be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory by providing New Hampshire with new, regulatory power, over sound suppressors.

Just imagine, Rep. Anne Kuster, Rep. Carol Shea Porter, or Senator Maggie Hassan or Senator Jeanne Shaheen defining what is a firearm.  They would probably propose that magazines,  trigger assemblies, bolts and firing pins would all be considered a “firearm” although none of these items is capable of firing live ammunition.  Think this is far fetched? Look at the effort to ban so called “bump stocks” that would really ban many of these items.

Even if you plan to attend the hearing, we still need you to call and email all Judiciary Committee Members and deliver this prewritten message, by clicking here:

SAMPLE EMAIL:  Please vote SB 500 Inexpedient to Legislate. This is an anti-gun bill that will greatly harm New Hampshire firearms owners by using the federal definition of a firearm as well as making tinkering changes to R.S.A. 207:7 regarding carrying arms in vehicles while still leaving a possessory offense on the books.  The New Hampshire Firearms Coalition told me that we can follow federal law without making it part of New Hampshire law and creating new regulations on frames, receivers and sound suppressors.  Please vote SB 500 ITL.

In case the mail to link does not work on your system, I am including a list of the Judiciary Committee members:

Chair – Senator Sharon Carson, Phone 603-271-1403 Sharon.Carson@leg.state.nh.us
Vice Chair Senator Bette R. Lasky, Phone: 603-271-3093 Bette.Lasky@leg.state.nh.us
Senator Harold French, Phone: 603-271-4063 Harold.French@leg.state.nh.us
Senator William Gannon, Phone: 603-271-7803 (Aide): katherine.bourque@leg.state.nh.us 
Senator Martha Hennessey, Phone: 603-271-3067 martha.hennessey@leg.state.nh.us

After you write to the Judiciary Committee, please click here to find out who your own senator is and send them the same prewritten message.

If any State Senators respond, please send me a copy: paul@nhfc-ontarget.org

So who is pushing SB 500?  We don’t know for sure, but based upon the chatter on social media it appears to be the same “gun group” that recently opposed HB 1749, statewide preemption and a few years ago pushed SB 244, see a shrink lose your guns.

How is it that a group that claims to be on our side would want to push a bill that would have sent additional names to the NICS system (SB244), worked to stop the penalties that would have allowed the Attorney General to stop local officials from violating the current statewide preemption law (HB 1749) and now appears to want our liberal, anti-gun Congressional delegation to have a say in the definitions of what is a firearm?

While there is a lot of chatter on social media that has been critical of NHFC and our partners at Gun Owners of America for supporting HB 1749 and opposing SB 500, it has been painfully obvious that no group will publicly put their name or reputation on the line by actually endorsing SB 500.  Here at NHFC we are willing to listen to new ideas and if SB 500 is good for gun owners we would like to know how and why.  Conversely, we heard a statehouse rumor that even members of the groups pushing SB 500 have acknowledged the serious flaws with it and we expect there will be an amendment at some point in the process to to make SB 500 less bad.  Just like they did when we protested that SB 244 was an anti-gun bill.  But even the amended SB 244 remained anti-gun and we expect SB 500 to as well, which is why will will keep pushing for its defeat.

We heard that the person who runs this “gun group” earns a living as a lobbyist and in order to be effective probably needs to show a certain amount of influence over even the most controversial of issues.  We also heard that a former lobbyist for the New Hampshire Municipal Association (who also opposed preemption) and is a firearms instructor, is advocating for SB 500 as well.  This all appears to be a very odd combination since the Municipal Association consistently supports gun control.  We cannot understand how anyone, who cares even slightly about your civil right to be armed would be opposed to preempting local gun bans.  We also cannot understand how these same folks could support giving away control of New Hampshire’s simple definition of a firearm to the US Congress and thus including frames, receivers and silencers in the definition.  The issue is truly perplexing and maybe the answer will be revealed at the public hearing.

The people who run NHFC and GOA have been consistently fighting for gun owners civil rights for decades.  In the case of GOAs Executive Director Emeritus and Legislative Counsel, they have been fighting for Second Amendment civil rights for over 4 decades and in case of the NHFC President, 3 decades.  We have a consistent, no compromise track record.

So please, don’t delay, click here to send a message to all members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Then, after you write to the Judiciary Committee, please click here to find out who your own senator is and send them the same prewritten message.

Thanks for your support!

In liberty,

Paul Marquis
First Vice President – NHFC, Inc.

House leadership trying to stop progun reforms…

February 3, 2018

We have previously told you about HB 1749, which will provide an enforcement mechanism for the existing state law that prohibits cities, towns and counties from regulating, taxing or prohibiting the sale, ownership and use of firearms.   The House Municipal and County Government Committee ignored your calls and emails and has recommended that HB 1749 […]

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Help still needed to stop local gun bans…

January 29, 2018

We have told you about HB 1749, which will provide an enforcement mechanism for existing state law that prohibits cities, towns and counties from regulating, taxing or prohibiting the sale, ownership and use of firearms. We need you to contact all members of the House Municipal and County Government Committee.  I know that I asked […]

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Two gun bans up for hearings this week…

January 23, 2018

This week 2 anti-gun bills will be given public hearings in Concord.  First, on Wednesday, January 24 at 10AM, HB 1438 will be heard by the House Judiciary Committee .  This bill was introduced by Rep. Jan Schmidt (D-Hillsborough 28) will allow landlords to include language in leases to prohibit renters from owning or possessing […]

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We must stop local gun bans…

January 20, 2018

A few weeks ago we told you about HB 1749, which was introduced by State Representative JR Hoell (R-Merrimack 23) and 9 co-sponsors.  HB 1749 is intended to stop illegal local gun bans.  The bill had a public hearing on January 10.  During the hearing, lobbyists for the Municipal Association conceded what we have been […]

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2 Important bills in Concord…

January 13, 2018

Next week two firearms related bills are being heard in House Committees in Concord and I need your help. On Tuesday, January 16 at 11AM the House Resources, Recreation and Development Committee will take public testimony on HB 1313 which was introduced by Rep. John Burt (R-Hillsborough 13)to extend last years Constitutional Carry law to […]

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Help stop local gun bans…

January 5, 2018

Lebanon, Milford, Manchester, Hillsborough County…. gun bans are coming to a city, town or county near where you live or work. Despite the clear language in R.S.A. 159:26 that says: ” …the state of New Hampshire shall have authority and jurisdiction over the sale, purchase, ownership, use, possession, transportation, licensing, permitting, taxation, or other matter […]

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The Woodburn semi-auto ban…

January 3, 2018

Back in October we told you that certain anti-gun legislators were working overtime to ban semi-autos under the guise of banning so called “bump stocks” and other benign firearms accessories.  Senator Woodburn (D-1) kept that promise and has introduced SB 492.  We have reviewed SB 492 and it is every bit as anti-gun as we […]

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Outing the lies, we must STOP SB 500!

December 28, 2017

It has come to my attention that there is some confusion regarding the points raised in our last alert.about SB 500. This email is intended to further explain why SB 500 is bad for gun owners.   Quite frankly, I am surprised that I even need to write this because our first alert was pretty clear. […]

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