Call your state reps ASAP -- major anti-gun bill HB 1589 goes for a full House vote on Wednesday

[Posted Monday, February 10, 2014, at 11:00 p.m.; updated Tuesday, February 11, at 6:10 p.m.]

By Sam Cohen, Pro-Gun New Hampshire Executive Vice President

As we’ve reported earlier, HB 1589, which would make it a felony* to sell or otherwise transfer a gun in New Hampshire without going through a licensed dealer, passed the House Commerce Committee by a party-line vote of ten Democrats to eight Republicans.   This Wednesday, February 12, it will be voted on by the full House of Representatives, whose party makeup is similar.  Because there are anti-gun Republican reps and pro-gun Democrat reps, the outcome is not foregone.  CALL YOUR STATE REP(s) ASAP and tell them why they should defeat this bill.  See the left side of the Pro-Gun New Hampshire website home page, at, for links on contacting your state representative(s).  

*[Update 2/11/14: The committee adopted the bill with an amendment -- now posted on the state website at  -- that changes the penalty for violation from a felony to a misdemeanor.  This doesn't change the nature of the bill, nor the need to kill it.  Note also that "display" of a firearm makes the sale "commercial."  In addition, there are concerns that the bill calls for dealers to violate federal law.] 

Here are some talking points when you call your state representatives:

NH Commerce Committee votes gun-ban bill HB1589 "Ought to Pass" on party lines

[Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014, at 9:00 p.m.]

The good news is that as we requested, the committee room was packed with people objecting to HB1589, the bill that would make it a felony to sell or transfer a gun in New Hampshire without going through a licensed dealer.  The bad news is despite all that opposition, today the New Hampshire House Commerce Committee voted on party lines, 10 to 8, to pass the bill. The text of the bill is at ; note that the commerce committee vice-chair, Donna Schlachman, is a co-sponsor of the bill.

We understand that the next step is that the House Judiciary Committee will review the bill for legalities; after that it goes to the full House of Representatives for a floor vote.  Unfortunately, too many conservative voters stayed home in the 2012 elections, and the House probably has an anti-gun majority.  But if it passes the House, the bill then goes to the NH Senate, which last year killed the anti-gun bill HB135.  Pro-Gun New Hampshire will carefully follow this bill and inform our members of its progress, issuing alerts on contacting legislators to kill this dangerous bill.

URGENT: Come to Concord TOMORROW, Tuesday Feb. 4 at 2:30 p.m., to help kill the gun-ban bill HB 1589 -- LOB Room 302


[Posted Friday, January 31, 2014, at 6:20 p.m.; updated Monday, February 3, at 1:10 p.m.]

As we've been telling everyone, HB 1589 is the most dangerous anti-gun bill in the New Hampshire legislature.  It would make it a felony to sell or otherwise transfer a gun without going through (and paying) a federally licensed dealer -- and that means registration, which is eventually followed by confiscation.

The NH House Commerce Committee will meet in executive session to vote on HB 1589 on Tuesday, February 4, at 2:30 p.m. in Room 302 of the Legislative Office Building (LOB -- behind the State House; 302 is on the third floor).  Although the public is NOT invited to speak at these executive sessions, all legislative business is open to the public, and we hope everyone reading this will crowd the room -- with signs taped to your clothing saying things like "NO on HB1589" or "ITL HB 1589."  ("ITL" is the legislative code for "Inexpedient to Legislate," meaning "kill the bill.")  You can make a difference!

UPDATE:  We've received a copy of the committee amendment sponsored by the original bill's sponsor, Rep. E. Elaine Andrews-Ahern, and by the chair of the Commerce Committee, Rep. Edward Butler; it's posted below (with typos as in the original).  This is what the anti-gun reps hope to adopt tomorrow -- but it does very little to change the bill; note especially the amendment's definition of a "commercial sale" (which is not really a commercial sale; for example, it would include a gun sale made as a result of posting a note on a gun-club bulletin board).  Please call the Commerce Committee members listed here tonight to tell them to forget trying to amend the bill, just kill it! 

Pro-gun Representative Emily Sandblade emailed this list (below) of the committee reps who need to hear from you, writing "Politely let them know that you consider this bill to be unacceptable (and tell them why) and ask them to vote against it."

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

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,, 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): , tel. 434-2489

Senator Bette Lasky (Vice Chair):,  tel. 888-5557 or 315-1924
Senator David Boutin:, tel. 203-5391

Senator Sam Cataldo:, tel. 859-1089
Senator Donna Soucy:, 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.] 


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,, 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: