NH Politics

New Hampshire Senate Democratic Office

Senate Unanimously Passes Legislation Promoting Transparency for Law Enforcement  
Chapter 159-E
Presidential Executive Orders
Relating to The Right to Keep And Bear Arms

      CONCORD – Today, the Senate unanimously voted Ought to Pass on HB 471, relative to police disciplinary hearings and authorizing the Department of Justice to maintain an exculpatory evidence schedule.

      After the vote, Senate Judiciary Committee Members Senator Jay Kahn (D-Kahn) and Senator Becky Whitley (D-Hopkinton) issued the following statement:   

      “The amended version of HB 471 supported by the Senate today represents the remarkable collaborative efforts of the NH Department of Justice, media representatives, the ACLU, and New Hampshire law enforcement to promote transparency and accountability. We commend them for their work in resolving a long-standing dispute about the public’s right to access the exculpatory evidence schedule, otherwise known as the “Laurie List.” This legislation is consistent with the recommendations of the LEACT Commission and supports the critical conversations around transparency and public information that are key components to a functional democracy.” 

159-E:1  Presidential Executive Orders Relating to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  Pursuant to the general court’s authority under Part II, Article 5 of the New Hampshire constitution, no person acting under color of state law or as an agent of the state may take any action, expend any funds, or exercise any power of the state of New Hampshire to enforce any Executive Order of the President of the United States, issued after January 20, 2021, that has the purpose or effect of restricting, limiting, encumbering, regulating, or placing conditions upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms pursuant to the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Part I, Art. 2-a and Art. 24 of the New Hampshire constitution.  This provision expressly extends protection to firearms, firearms components, firearms magazines and loading devices, ammunition, firearms supplies, knives, and any other weapons or armaments not prohibited by state law. 

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Republican Leaders Reject Washington Infringement on 2nd Amendment Rights

      Concord, NH- House Majority Leader Jason Osborne (R-Auburn) and Chairman of House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee Daryl Abbas (R-Salem) released the following statements after the Criminal Justice Committee passed SB154, prohibiting the state from enforcing a Presidential Executive Order that restricts or regulates the right of the people to keep and bear arms, on a vote of 11-10.

In a press release the following statements were made:

      House Majority Leader Jason Osborne commented “After much discussion in Washington over the last few months about Executive Orders that would severely restrict our Second Amendments rights, it is abundantly clear that something has to be done. These potential Executive Orders, or any laws enacted by Congress, would impede New Hampshire citizens’ basic rights to defend themselves.”  He continued, “New Hampshire’s firearms laws are clear, and as a result, we are consistently ranked as one of the safest states in the nation. This bill would do nothing to change our current laws, it would simply say that New Hampshire rejects Washington edicts and we will not be enforcing them.”

      Chairman Daryl Abbas said, “New Hampshire should not be required to enforce federal laws and executive orders from the President of the United States that restrict the rights to bear arms that are inconsistent with New Hampshire’s laws and traditions.”  “If these out of state federal politicians enact policies infringing on our second amendment rights here 

in New Hampshire, that is their agenda and they should take responsibility for enforcing their agendas especially when the people of New Hampshire have historically rejected these types of infringements.”

      In a Statement from Zandra Rice Hawkins, director of GunSense NH, a project of Granite State Progress she commented “Even when they don’t make the headlines, senseless gun tragedies take lives every day and leave lasting trauma in communities, especially communities of color. We all have the right to be safe in our homes, schools, and communities. The Biden Administration and leaders in Congress are working urgently to save lives, and it is frustrating that Chris Sununu and his Republican majorities in the State House continue to hold New Hampshire back. SB 154 is unconstitutional, could cause New Hampshire to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grants and aid, and is designed to block, stop, or delay common sense gun violence prevention efforts. We need to close background check loopholes, stop the proliferation of ghost guns, reign in firearms and accessories that contribute to the death toll in mass shootings, and develop a real plan to address the public health pandemic that is gun violence. SB 154 would be worse than the status quo, blocking any and all efforts led at the national level. It could also prevent New Hampshire from working with the DOJ, FBI, or AFT on major issues like the violent insurrection at the capitol or the growing armed militia and white supremacist activity in the Granite State.”

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MAY 2021