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, 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.

PGNH recruiting table at two gun shows this month

[Posted Monday, November 18, 2013, at 3:25 p.m.]

Pro-Gun New Hampshire had a successful day recruiting new members at the Fort Constitution Arms Collectors Fall Gun Show last Saturday, November 16.  (F.C.A.C. is PGNH's affiliate organization; see the sidebar at the left side of this website's home page.)

Next weekend, November 23 and 24, PGNH will have a table at the Northeast Expositions gun show at the Nashua Radisson Tara hotel (formerly the Sheraton Tara), the "castle" visible from Route 3 near the Mass. border.  See

Rep. Wendy Piper WITHDRAWS her bill to seize firearms

[Posted Saturday, November 16, 2013, at 11:20 p.m.]

Rep. Wendy Piper (D - Enfield) has withdrawn her LSR (Legislative Service Request, the precursor of a bill) "relative to seizure of firearms of a person posing a risk of imminent personal injury to self or others."  This was the bill urged by Richard Crate, police chief of Enfield, as described in the article we posted here on the Pro-Gun New Hampshire website on November 3.

Her message to Enfield residents said she withdrew it "due to lack of bipartisan co-sponsorship," meaning that no Republican state rep would touch it.  We thank our Council of Advisors, consisting largely of current and former state legislators, for this result. 

Radio interview Monday, November 4 at 8:15 a.m. about NH legislation to seize guns PREEMPTIVELY

[Posted Sunday, November 3, 2013, at 12:30 p.m.]

On Monday, November 4, 2013, at 8:15 a.m., radio station WNTK, 99.7 FM, will broadcast an interview with Richard Crate, Chief of Police of Enfield, NH, about a bill that he's asked state representative Wendy Piper to sponsor.  Although the text of the bill isn't yet available, the LSR (Legislative Service Request) is titled "relative to the seizure of firearms from a person posing a risk of imminent personal injury to self or others."

The bill is discussed in a recent Associated Press article (see, for example,  Note the following excerpts: 

Anyone care to (politely) educate this fellow about the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment?

[Posted Friday, October 18, 2013, at 3:20 p.m.]

Once again -- this time several months late -- another benighted anti-rights voter from New Jersey complains about our August 1 article (scroll down) investigating the Second Amendment position of potential Republican Presidential candidate Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey.

This is a wake-up call.  If Eddie Rivera is typical of half the voters in this country, we better saddle up and get busy educating those who aren't paying attention, and making sure that every pro-rights, pro-liberty person we know VOTES! 

Meanwhile, does anyone care to talk some sense into this poor soul?


Here's his message, misspellings and all.

Sent: Friday, October 18, 2013 1:09 PM
Subject: [Message to Pro-Gun New Hampshire] Chris Chrisite

Eddie Rivera sent a message using the contact form at

Dear Pro Gun New Hampshire,

I am totally disgusted that you had to write a letter to my governor, Chris
Christie, threatening his chances in 2016. Unfortunately I'm a Democrat and
totally against Christie. I am sick to death about you "law-biding"
citizens believing that preventing another Newtown tragedy is instituting
more guns. There are better ways to handle this without guns. When the 2nd

An important addition to our boycott list - and a protest rally this Saturday

[Posted Thursday, October 17, 2013, at 4:00 p.m.]

Yesterday, October 16, 2013, the Nashua Telegraph newspaper printed a story about a New Hampshire gas station clerk who was fired for defending himself against an armed robber by displaying (but not firing) his pistol.  The owner of the Nashua Shell gas station, Nouria Energy, fired him because of its anti-gun policy.  We've added a list of Nouria Energy New Hampshire store locations to our boycott list, linked on the left side-column of the home page of our Pro-Gun New Hampshire website.  See for a current list of their store locations. (In New Hampshire, they own 26 Shell stations, two Irving stations, one Gulf station, and one Lil Mart -- plus several Shell stations in Massachusetts, one in Rhode Island, and several Lil Mart stores in Maine.  Although they own a lot of Shell stations in NH, all Shell stations aren't necessarily owned by the same company). 

PGNH raffle winner drawn and new raffle started

[Posted Sunday, October 13, 2013, at 9:30 p.m.]

A benefit of membership in Pro-Gun New Hampshire is the right to participate in our generous gun raffles; we try always to have at least two raffles in play.  See the "PGNH GUN  RAFFLES" block at the top of the left-hand side column on the home page of this website for detailed description of the raffle prizes. 

On Saturday, October 12, 2013, we completed the raffle for a Ruger LC9 9mm pistol, plus ammunition, and drew a winner at the Manchester gun show.  The raffle winner is a PGNH member from Francestown. NH.  As soon as that winner was drawn, we began a new raffle for another Ruger LC9, but this one previously-owned, and with a second magazine, plus ammo.

NH Dept. of Safety responds to messages from New Jersey

[Posted Friday, October 11, 2013, at 3:55 p.m.]

Please see the article posted here yesterday:

The alert from the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs asks its members to contact Earl Sweeney, the Assistant Commissioner of the NH Department of Safety, about last July's change in the Department of Safety's Administrative Rules, which now require that an applicant for a NH non-resident concealed carry license must have a carry license from his home state (instead of from "any" state) -- something nearly impossible in New Jersey and a few other anti-gun states that almost never issue concealed carry licenses or permits.  To respond to such contact messages, Mr. Sweeney has written the following letter (converted here into the standard "posting" format dictated by the software that runs this website, which includes his signature rendered as text).