On March 19th, the New Hampshire state House of Representatives will be holding floor votes for a number of bills that would impact your Second Amendment rights, including legislation to criminalize private transfers, impose waiting periods, and allow local governments to impose a patchwork of restrictions. Please contact your state Representative and urge them to OPPOSE House Bill 109, House Bill 514, and Constitutional Amendment Concurrent Resolution 8, as well as SUPPORT House Bill 208. Click the “Take Action” button below to contact your state Representative.
House Bill 109 would essentially ban the private transfer of firearms. It employs a broad definition of “commercial sales” that would require private individuals, such as collectors and hobbyists who attend gun shows to trade firearms among each other, to conduct their transfers through Federal Firearm Licensed (FFL) dealers. The exemptions in the bill for private individuals not attending gun shows are so narrow and this definition of “commercial sales” is so large that they are effectively useless.
This is a solution in search of a problem. Federal law already requires firearm dealers, regardless of location, to do background checks when transferring firearms. According to federal studies of how prison inmates acquired firearms, fewer than 1% reported acquiring them at gun shows, and the vast majority acquired firearms on the black market, by straw purchase, or by theft. In addition, ATF has reported that nearly half of illegally trafficked firearms originate through straw purchasers alone.
House Bill 514 would delay Second Amendment rights by requiring a seven day waiting period (excluding weekends and holidays) before an individual may receive firearms that they purchase. There would be limited exemptions, such as for those who have completed the 16 hour hunter safety course and are seeking to buy a long gun. The original version of the bill would have imposed the waiting period for ammunition as well, but that provision has been amended out.
Waiting periods are an archaic relic from before the digital age, since they were originally meant to give local law enforcement time to complete background checks. Since the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) came into operation in 1998, technology has allowed background checks to be done instantly, activating the law that eliminated the federally required waiting periods. There is no evidence that waiting periods reduce suicides. A waiting period would not deter or affect criminals, as they obtain the vast majority of their firearms from illegal sources. It would especially affect first-time buyers seeking a firearm for self-defense, as it would be a seven working day delay where they and their loved ones are left defenseless.
Constitutional Amendment Concurrent Resolution 8 would effectively eliminate the state preemption laws which ensure that Second Amendment rights are equally protected across all of New Hampshire. State preemption prevents local governments from enacting their own gun control ordinances and creating a confusing patchwork of laws. In addition, all law-abiding citizens of New Hampshire should enjoy the same rights, regardless of where they reside.
House Bill 208 would clarify New Hampshire’s self-defense statute and create consistency in the laws relating to the use of physical force in defense of a person. It would ensure that an individual may protect themselves and others within their dwelling or curtilage against criminals committing a felony.
Again, please click the “Take Action” button above to urge your state Representative to OPPOSE HB 109, HB 514, CACR 8 and to SUPPORT HB 208.