Today the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 196-153 to adopt a ban on deadly weapons in the House chamber and gallery, following several painful hours of floor debate generated by Republican members.
Among those dragging the debate out for hours were State Representatives George Lambert of Litchfield, Pam Tucker of Greenland, J.R. Hoell of Dunbarton, Jordan Ulery of Hudson, Al Baldasaro of Londonderry and Lenette Peterson of Merrimack. Granite State Progress released an excerpt of the guns and deadly weapons vote record of these vocal speakers:
• All six voted for exempting firearms, fire arm accessories, and ammunition manufactured in New Hampshire from federal law and regulation. The bill additionally would have made a state or federal official who enforced a lawful federal regulation guilty of a misdemeanor or felony. (HB125, Roll Call #12, 2/15/2011; Final: Interim Study by House)
• All six voted for eliminating licensing requirements for New Hampshire residents to own and carry firearms such as pistols and revolvers, “whether openly or concealed, loaded or unloaded.” (HB536, Roll Call #14, 1/5/2012; Tabled by Senate)
• All six voted for removing the minimum mandatory sentence for conviction of a felony involving the possession, use, or attempted use of a firearm, and would have made the sentence for such a felony conviction discretionary. (HB378, Roll Call #65, 3/15/2011; Final: Interim Study by Senate)
The vote to restore the ban on deadly weapons reverts House rules to those that had been in place for 40 years before the last House changed them.
“Granite State Progress applauds the New Hampshire House for this reasonable restriction on deadly weapons in the State House,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, director of Granite State Progress. “Returning to the previous House rules was a smart step for the safety of State House visitors and schoolchildren. The same state representatives who wasted taxpayer time debating this issue are the ones who voted to eliminate licensing requirements and background checks to allow nearly anyone to buy and carry a gun. Those individuals are not credible voices when it comes to when and where guns should be allowed.”
“Now that the routine House rules have been established, we’re eager to see the conversation move quickly to how to improve jobs and the economy for New Hampshire families and small businesses,” Rice Hawkins said.
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Editors Note: The issue around guns and gun free zones has been brought up many times since the tragic events in Sandy Hook. Rep Hoell even went as far today as to say that the tragedy in Sandy Hook was due to a ‘Gun-Free Zones’. This is a complete fallacy.
As NHLN blogger Matt Murray pointed out in his post “The Last Thing We Need Is MORE Guns In Our Schools And State Houses” that many of the tragedies we have seen in the past few years have been in area’s where guns were present.
“Remember that some of the most tragic events in the last few years occurred in places where armed guards were present. Columbine had armed security guards. The University of Virginia has armed campus police. Fort Hood is an active military base for pete’s sake. None of these armed enforcers stopped those tragic events from happening.”