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Thu January 26, 2012
Senate Puts the Brakes on Looser Gun Laws
After hearing nearly four hours of public testimony, a senate committee set aside a trio of bills that would loosen gun laws.
The first bill would give the legislature the exclusive power to prohibit guns on public property – like colleges and the state-house. That would mean that if UNH wanted such a restriction, it would have to get lawmakers to agree.
For Ed Mackay, the chancellor of the University of New Hampshire system, that’s not a good recipe.
"Access to weapons -- deadly weapons -- when students may be drinking or engaged in other types of activities, sets up a circumstance that’s likely to result in some tragic accident," says Mackay.
The other two bills would eliminate the need for a permit to carry a concealed weapon, and allow loaded hunting weapons in vehicles.
Supporters of the new laws say they are necessary to safeguard second amendment rights.
John Evans of the NH Firearms coalition says he wants to avoid a situation like Massachusetts, where "individual towns can make their own rules and regulations in regards to who can have a gun, who can’t have a gun, who’s a good person who’s a bad person and what have you."
The bills passed the House of Representatives, but the governor has said he would veto all three if they came before him. The Senate judiciary committee sent all three bills to interim study.