The last day of the House Legislative session was just days after nineteen children and two teachers were gunned down in Ulvalde Texas. Representative Debra Atlschiller, a Democrat from Stratham began a moving tribute to the American victims of gun violence and to first responders and law enforcement officials who respond.
As it became clear that Rep. Altschiller was making a plea for common sense gun safety, not a few Republicans in the room began to boo, and then asked for a vote to terminate her speech. She was permitted to finish speaking. Immediately afterwards, Rep. Terry Roy, R, made the comment that “we should not let a good tragedy go to waste,” mocking the statements that had been made by Atlschiller. The statement was jaw droppingly inappropriate and cruel.
This episode epitomizes the NH legislature’s failed efforts to enact common sense gun safety.
As a grandmother of two young children, I could not look at the photos of those killed in the attack in Texas, nor could I look at photos or newscasts of the parents who lost their children. The pain is simply too unimaginable. However, we all need to look at those photos and ask why New Hampshire cannot pass laws designed to protect the lives of citizens that do not infringe upon the constitutional rights of gun ownership among responsible individuals
I believe in our bi-partisan system of government and in working in solidarity with members of both parties. However, it is important as voters for you to know who was responsible for this lack of concern with gun safety
These are the bills filed this term:
- 2022: HB 1178, passed by a Republican majority, prohibits the state from enforcing any federal regulation on guns and from receiving help from ATF, DOJ, and FBI from helping us in the wake of tragedy on Governor SUNUNU’S DESK
- 2022: HB 1636, passed by a Republican majority, allows loaded carry of firearms on snowmobiles/OHRV on TO SUNUNU’S DESK
- 2021: SB 141, passed by a Republican majority, is a bill completely gutting state’s background check system and thus puts domestic violence victims at increased risk, VETOED BY GOVERNOR
- 2021: HB 195, filed by Republican Rep. Yakubovich, made firearm brandishing an exception to the reckless conduct statute SIGNED INTO LAW BY Governor SUNUNU
- 2021: HB 334, filed by Republican Rep. Burt, would’ve allowed loaded firearms on snowmobiles/OHRV and completely gut the state’s background check system putting domestic violence victims at increased risk VETOED BY GOV. Sununu
And these were the bills that were brought forth by my fellow Democrats:
- 2022: HB 1668 filed by the late Rep. Kathi Rogers, to close the background check loopholes online, at gun shows, at flea markets and private sales. BLOCKED BY HOUSE Republicans
- 2022: HB 1151 filed by Rep. David Meuse, to prohibit the display of a deadly weapon at a parade, funeral procession, picket line, march, rally, vigil, or demonstration. BLOCKED BY HOUSE Republicans.
- 2022 HB 1096: filed by Rep. David Meuse, to prohibit guns at polling places (often SCHOOLS). BLOCKED BY HOUSE Republicans
Wishes for thoughts and prayers ring hollow. They will not protect our children, grandchildren, and the citizens of our communities.
Can we please vote for candidates who support both the constitutional right to bear arms and do so safely and responsibly? The filing period for elected officials in our state is now underway. I would urge voters to carefully review any incumbent’s voting history as it relates to gun safety, and to demand that candidates new to the public arena tell you exactly where they stand on the issue.
I will continue to support legislation that will keep weapons out of the hands of convicted criminals of dangerous crimes and those with significant mental illness. Our constitutional liberties never intended for firearms to be utilized for unlawful purposes, particularly in violation of the freedom and liberty of others.