The Right to Bear Arms

There’s been a lot of focus on HB 1749 entitled: “relative to the state’s authority to prohibit or regulate firearms and relative to the selectmen’s authority to manage towns property”.   Clearly, I’m a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment and have an NRA “A” rating.  I believe the bill is well-intended, but I’ve read there are some issues involving the NH Constitution and the suggested amendments may be worth working on.  Therefore, I’ve included the summary from the Committee on Municipal and County Government in their recommendation for Interim Study:

“…This bill came about as the result of infractions of state statute by local officials. This bill should have been directed at any violation of state law by local officials, governing bodies, etc. Since existing statutes don’t specify a fine or punishment for such violations, the Attorney General does not consider it a crime and, therefore, prosecution is not administered. This bill could have corrected that issue. During the initial presentation at the first hearing in Representatives Hall, the bill’s sponsor had an amendment to make changes to the bill. Since then, two other major amendments have been filed and there is a report that a third may be in the process. The committee felt this bill had merit and should not be found Inexpedient to Legislate but, at the same time, the details in the amendments needed attention which could only be ironed out in a subcommittee. Since the bill was an early bill, the only reasonable course of action was to refer it to interim study. This way the bill is not lost, the amendments can be considered and possibly combined, and the entire bill can receive the attention it deserves. It is expected to result in a correctly worded report to be presented as a bill for future action. Vote 18-2.

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