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
Vice Chair Senator Bette R. Lasky, Phone: 603-271-3093
Senator Harold French, Phone: 603-271-4063
Senator William Gannon, Phone: 603-271-7803 (Aide): 
Senator Martha Hennessey, Phone: 603-271-3067

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:

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.

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