HB1589 (to ban private gun sales) subcommittee work session Thursday January 23

[Posted Wednesday January 22, 2014, at 1:30 p.m.]

A House Commerce Committee subcommittee "work session" on HB1589 is scheduled for tomorrow, 1/23/14, at 2:15 p.m. in Room 302 of the Legislative Office Building (behind the State House).  This is the bill to make it a felony to sell or otherwise transfer a gun in New Hampshire without going through a dealer (FFL), which of course means registration.  Although the public is NOT invited to speak at these work sessions, all legislative business is open to the public, and we hope our members will crowd the room -- maybe with signs taped to their clothing saying things like "NO on HB1589" or "ITL HB1589."  ("ITL" is the legislative code for "Inexpedient to Legislate," meaning "kill the bill.")


[Posted Saturday, January 18, 2014, at 7:55 p.m.]

Please see our post of January 9 (which we also sent to PGNH members as an email alert on January 16):  Scroll down (or see next page, if that's where it ends up), or go directly to http://pgnh.org/action_alert_come_fight_the_worst_anti_gun_nh_legislation_of_the_year_banning_private_gun_sales.

Alert: Please email or call these five NH senators ASAP!

[Posted Friday, January 17, 2014, at 12:30 p.m.]  Note: The content  of this article is a version of the Pro-Gun New Hampshire membership alert emailed Wednesday, January 15, 2014, at 2:30 p.m.


Last Tuesday, January 14, 2014, the NH Senate Judiciary Committee heard public testimony on Senate Bill 244, the landmark legislation that creates a way to annul mental health adjudications so that gun owners can UN-prohibit themselves from buying and possessing guns. 
PGNH, the NRA, and the NSSF (National Shooting Sports Foundation, the industry trade association) have carefully analyzed this bill and support it, but some others have spread false information and propaganda that plays on the public's fears, and campaigned to flood the senate committee with complaints.
SB 244 DOES NOT create any new gun disqualifiers, NOR does it cause anyone not already prohibited from gun purchase/possession to become prohibited.  It DOES create a much-needed relief mechanism, something that does not now exist.

PLEASE READ the articles on SB 244 that we recently (starting January 10) published on our website, www.PGNH.org, and then email or call the five members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to express your support of this bill and counter the false propaganda. 

Senator Sharon Carson (Chair): sharon.carson@leg.state.nh.us , tel. 434-2489

Senator Bette Lasky (Vice Chair): bette.lasky@leg.state.nh.us,  tel. 888-5557 or 315-1924
Senator David Boutin: dboutin1465@comcast.net, tel. 203-5391

Senator Sam Cataldo: casac@worldpath.net, tel. 859-1089
Senator Donna Soucy: donna.soucy@leg.state.nh.us, tel. 271-4151

SB 244: Senator Watters submits PGNH amendment to Senate Judiciary Committee

[Posted Thursday, January 16, 2014, at 2:00 a.m.]

At the January 14 hearing on SB 244, the "mental health gun bill," Senator David Watters, the bill's sponsor, submitted the following amendment to the NH Senate Judiciary Committee at the request of Pro-Gun New Hampshire.  The amendment was the work of PGNH General Counsel attorney Evan Nappen and PGNH President Bob Clegg.  Its purpose is to correct the bill's language to bring it into compliance with federal law so that the "relief from disabilities" sections -- i.e., the language to allow annulment of mental health records -- will be legally workable.  PGNH had supported the bill conditionally only because this amendment had not been submitted; assuming the committee accepts the amendment, the bill will earn our full support.  Testimony at the hearing and even articles in the Manchester Union Leader and Concord Monitor newspapers revealed a frustrating mischaracterization of this bill, with people claiming that the bill will prohibit people from owning guns.  As our previous articles have repeated, the bill does NOT prohibit anyone from owning guns -- unless one thinks that keeping people from committing felonies (by buying guns when they're already prohibited but the prohibition is hidden) is a "prohibition."

Pro-gun-rights rally at the State House this Sunday, January 19, at noon

[Posted Tuesday, January 14, 2014, at 11:00 p.m.] 

See https://www.facebook.com/events/1483066081918653/

Pro-Gun New Hampshire is not the sponsor of this rally, but posts this notice as a public service.

PGNH raffle winner drawn, and another gun raffle started

[Posted Tuesday, January 14, 2014, at 5:00 p.m.]

On Saturday, January 11, at the Manchester gun show, we sold the last of the 100 five-dollar tickets for the raffle of the second Ruger LC9 pistol we've raffled, this one used but with a second magazine.  We asked a small boy in the crowd to draw the winning ticket stub, and -- witnessed by the NRA recruiter at the next table -- he drew the name of PGNH member Grant Copeland, of Goffstown.  We called Mr. Copeland's cell phone, and since he was at the show that day, he came to the table and picked up the pistol, along with the second magazine and ammunition that was part of the prize.  He gave us permission to publish his name and town of residence.

Pro-Gun New Hampshire responds to a misleading attack on us by Gun Owners of America about SB 244

[Published Monday, January 13, 2014, at 6:10 p.m.]

In an email alert to its members last night, January 12, 2014, GOA (Gun Owners of America) took issue with Pro-Gun New Hampshire’s (PGNH’s) recent posting on our website, www.PGNH.org, about Senate Bill 244.  The title of our article was “Surprise: SB 244, the mental health gun bill, isn’t what you think it is (maybe).”  To see the GOA alert, click on the thumbnail images at the end of this article.  

In turn, we would like to respond to GOA’s typical over-the-top “the sky is falling” opposition to any gun bill that they don’t support. 

They keep referring to SB 244 as an anti-gun bill, but neglect to mention that SB 244 is supported by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms industry trade association — whose president, attorney Steve Sanetti, is the former president of Ruger — AND the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. 

GOA’s email message raised five points that we will address here:  

Surprise: SB 244, the mental health gun bill, isn’t what you think it is (maybe)

[Posted Friday, January 10, 2014, at 12:10 p.m.] 

Next Tuesday, January 14, at 9:00 a.m., the NH Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing in Room 100 of the State House on SB 244.  SB 244 will add New Hampshire to the list of states that report the names of people “adjudicated as mentally incompetent” to NICS (the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System), which will then prohibit them from buying or possessing firearms or ammunition.  (All states now report felony convictions to NICS, but not all states report mental incompetence adjudications.)  At the same time, the bill also attempts to provide a much-needed relief mechanism to restore gun rights — something that is vitally necessary.  

The text of the bill is at

The chief argument against this bill, and others like it around the country, is that some adjudications of mental incompetence are unfair, as when an anti-gun psychiatrist or psychologist at a hospital declares someone mentally incompetent, even if they’re not dangerous.  Cases like this at the Veterans Administration have made the national news.   

Much of the outcry against SB 244 — some gun groups are saying things like “See a shrink, lose your guns” — is based on the claim that this bill will cause people to be disqualified on the grounds of “mental incompetence,” but it does not do that at all.   

While on the surface this is a terrible bill — especially in light of President Obama’s recent executive orders expanding the definition of “mentally incompetent” to include people ordered to involuntary outpatient commitment, whatever that means (court-ordered anger management courses??) — things aren’t as simple as they seem.  Here’s why:  


[Posted Thursday, January 9, 2014, at 9:15 p.m.; updated Friday, January 10, 2014, at 9:15 p.m.]

As we warned in an earlier article, state representative E. Elaine Andrews-Ahearn (D - North Hampton) has filed a bill to ban private sales of all firearms -- rifles, shotguns, handguns -- in New Hampshire, forcing them to go through a licensed dealer (FFL).  Violation would be a FELONY.  PRO-GUN NEW HAMPSHIRE URGES ALL NH GUN OWNERS TO EXPRESS THEIR OPINIONS OF THIS BILL, HB 1589, TO THE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS COMMITTEE, AND TO ATTEND THE PUBLIC HEARING: Tuesday, January 21, 2014, at 1:15 p.m.   Because the legislature knows that this bill will infuriate gun owners, the hearing is scheduled not for the small committee room but for REPRESENTATIVES HALL in the State House.

NH non-resident licensing procedures now fixed -- for the THIRD time in ten years

[Posted Tuesday, December 31, 2013, at 3:50  p.m.]

By Sam Cohen, Pro-Gun New Hampshire Executive V.P. and CEO

In a repeat of events from both six years ago and ten years ago, the NH State Police have just reversed their recent policy of turning away applicants for a non-resident carry license because their home-state license is restricted -- for example, to "target and hunting only," common in Massachusetts, New York, and similar anti-gun states.  I've had the honor (??) of being active in all three of these fixes.

In December of 2007, we posted an article saying that Earl Sweeney, Assistant Commissioner of the NH Department of Safety, had advised the NH State Police Permits and Licensing Unit (PLU) to grant NH non-resident Pistol/Revolver Licenses (to carry concealed) to those whose out-of-state carry licenses/permits were limited to things like "target shooting and hunting only."  That article, at
http://pgnh.org/nh_non_resident_carry_licenses_again_available_to_target_and_hunting_only_licensees_from_mass_ny_etc, explained that the PLU had reverted back to denying those applicants, even though a similar correction had been made four years earlier by John Stephen, who was the Assistant Commissioner at that time.