We are coming to you a day earlier than normal because we need your help today.
The new year is barely three weeks old, and there have already been eight school shootings.
Last week alone saw three such incidents. On Monday, a student was injured in a shooting at Widener University outside of Philadelphia. On Tuesday, a student at Purdue University in Indiana was shot and killed on campus. On Friday, a student was shot near a dorm at South Carolina State University. He later died.
While Congress failed to pass gun reform legislation in the wake of the deadly shootings in Newtown, twenty-one states enacted new laws to curb gun violence, according to the 2013 State Gun Laws Scorecard jointly released by the Brady Campaign and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
The organizations ranked all 50 states based on 30 policy approaches regulating guns and ammunition, including strengthening background checks, reporting lost or stolen firearms, and prohibiting dangerous people from purchasing weapons. States received points for executing “effective” laws in each policy area, and lost points for legislation that could increase the likelihood of violence, such as carrying loaded and concealed weapons in public without a permit.
New Hampshire received a D-.
But, New Hampshire has a chance to do something to raise that grade.
Tomorrow afternoon the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee will be voting on HB 1589, an act requiring background checks for all firearm sales.
HB 1589 would require criminal background checks for all gun sales, helping keep guns out of the hands of felons, domestic abusers and the seriously mentally ill by requiring background checks for all gun transfers. Under HB 1589, private sellers would be required to conduct background checks through federally licensed dealers using the same background check system already used in all dealer sales. The bill makes commonsense exceptions for gifts or loans between immediate family members, in emergency self-defense situations, and for friends at the shooting range, hunting, or in facilitated competitions, among other things.
If you believe as I do, that New Hampshire must take steps to protect her children from the unthinkable happening in one of our schools then please pick up your phone today because the committee members need to hear from you.