NH News
4:46 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Gun Rights Advocates Push Back Against Universal Background Checks Bill

Nicole Hockley, whose 6-year-old son Dylan was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, speaks in favor of a bill requiring universal background checks in New Hampshire.
Nicole Hockley, whose 6-year-old son Dylan was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, speaks in favor of a bill requiring universal background checks in New Hampshire.
Credit NHPR / Michael Brindley

Gun rights advocates pushed back at a public hearing Tuesday against a bill that would require universal background checks for firearm sales in New Hampshire.

Critics argue expanding background checks won’t keep guns out of the hands of those determined to commit acts of violence.

Ralph DeMicco, owner of Riley’s Sports Shop in Hooksett, told members of the House Commerce Committee that the black market for guns would still exist even if the bill were to pass.

“Do you actually suppose that someone intent on committing mayhem with a firearm is either going to go through a background check or will not seek that firearm somewhere else?”

The bill would require all private gun sales to include a background check through a federally licensed dealer.

Democratic Senator David Pierce says it’s is not a silver bullet to ending gun violence, but is a common sense measure.

“It is simply absurd to allow guns to be sold to felons or the dangerously mentally ill.  The few minutes it takes to conduct a computerized background check will save lives.”

Two parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting were among those who spoke in support of the bill.