guns

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A bill doing away with the permit requirement for carrying a concealed firearm is headed to Governor Chris Sununu’s desk after the House voted in favor of it Thursday. 

Plenty of lawmakers didn’t make it to through the snow to the State House Thursday, but the House still managed to pass a bill to repeal New Hampshire’s concealed carry law.

Speaking just before the roll call, Representative John Burt urged the House to vote as it had before.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

To an outsider, Newington is strip malls and the Pease Tradeport. A dark patch opposite all the glowing neon that straddles the Spaulding Turnpike. The small residential section of town sits protected by the brackish waters of Little Bay, seemingly doing its best not to be noticed.

But with its hometown company Sig Sauer winning a $580-million, 10-year contract with the United States Army last month, Newington may find itself with a slightly higher profile.

A proposal to require firearm safety training for New Hampshire lawmakers wishing to carry guns on the House floor has been defeated.

Democratic Minority Leader Steve Shurtleff proposed the rule Thursday after a representative dropped her loaded gun during a committee hearing this month.

House rules say lawmakers with the proper license can carry hidden guns in the House chamber. The new rule would have required them to take a speaker-approved gun safety course before being allowed to carry concealed weapons.

NHPR/Hannah McCarthy

New Hampshire lawmakers heard hours of testimony Thursday on a bill that would require background checks for commercial firearm sales.

Representative Katherine Rogers,the main sponsor on the bill, says it’s designed to fill perceived loopholes in New Hampshire gun regulations.

"The current system’s loophole is exploited by criminals," Rogers says, "who can avoid background checks by purchasing firearms from unlicensed private sellers, often at gun shows, or through anonymous online transactions."

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The New Hampshire Senate has voted on party lines to allow people to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. With Republicans leaders and Governor Chris Sununu favoring the bill, it’s expected to become law.

Similar bills have cleared the GOP-controlled legislatures in the past but have been vetoed by Democratic governors. With Governor Sununu promising to sign this bill, Republicans are moving fast. Senate majority leader Jeb Bradley is the bill's lead sponsor.

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  Police in Somersworth, New Hampshire, say an 11-year-old brought a loaded gun to school.

Police say there's no evidence the gun was used or was intended to be used in any threatening manner at Somersworth Middle School on Wednesday.

It's not clear where the student got the firearm from. No one was hurt.

The Somersworth Police Department's juvenile division was handling the investigation.

Handbook of New Hampshire Elected Officials

A state representative faced a strong rebuke from the Speaker of the House after she dropped her loaded handgun while entering a House Education Committee hearing Thursday.

Milford Republican Carolyn Halstead apologized for the incident, in which her gun fell to the floor, but did not fire. She says it came loose from her waistband while she removed her backpack.

Pierre-Alexandre Garneau via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/8GW6WZ

A team of reporters tracking police shootings discovered an alarming trend - people brandishing phony weapons getting shot in confrontations with cops.  Today, we'll learn about real fatalities with fake guns and why the pro-gun lobby is protecting the right to bear imitation arms.

Also today, a New Hampshire high school confronts stereotypes and the national spike in hate crimes by asking refugee students to talk about their lives and cultures. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Updated 08/26/2016:

The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office issued a statement outlining their position on the legality of guns in schools when used as polling places.

Reporter Jason Moon joined All Things Considered host Peter Biello to discuss the statement.

The statement from the Attorney General's Office in full:

Gun Store / Flickr Creative Commons

Attorney General Joseph Foster says New Hampshire will start reporting certain individuals suffering from mental illness to the national gun background check system.

Federal law prohibits the possession of firearms by people who have been "adjudicated as a mental defective" or committed to a hospital. But New Hampshire is one of a few states that doesn't report these records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

New Hampshire gun manufacturer Sig Sauer lost an appeal in a US Appeals Court this week. The dispute was over the classification of a “silencer" device.

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The state reps gathered in the house well. They mostly talked about how the nation needs to break the gridlock on the gun debate. Jackie Cilley represents Barrington.

"It is a war zone, and there are practical, sensible solutions that we can promulgate and legislators, nationally and in this state that will make it a little less so."

When Governor Hassan joined the sit in, she spoke briefly, but pointedly on guns.

"It is absolutely essential that we expand background checks, so that known and suspected terrorist can't buy guns at gun shows or online."

Updated at 1:15 p.m.

House Democrats have ended their almost 26-hour-long sit-in to push for gun control legislation, pledging on Thursday afternoon to continue their fight once Congress returns from the July Fourth recess.

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., ended the daylong protest surrounded by his Democratic colleagues. The civil rights leader proclaimed that this "is a struggle, but we're going to win this struggle."

As the U.S. Senate debates measures to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, New Hampshire's Senator Kelly Ayotte is throwing her support to a proposal drafted by Maine Senator Susan Collins.

The plan would bar people on the TSA's no-fly and selected lists from buying guns. It also creates an appeals process where people wrongly blocked from buying gun could recover legal fees from the federal government.

"With recent events and political environment, these weapons will be harder to get a hold of." "This is what your AR-15 dreams it could be when it grows up." "I can meet ... near the FL Mall in Orlando or any other time." "Cash is king."

Updated 2:30 a.m. ET Thursday:

Nearly 15 hours: The Associated Press reports that's how long Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy and his Democratic colleagues held the floor before yielding early Thursday, with a pledge that he would aggressively press for a legislative response to the Orlando, Fla., mass shooting. Murphy has been upset with congressional inaction on gun violence.

Original Post:

Senate Democrats say they are bringing Senate business to a halt in an effort to force some action on gun control.

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A ruling by the New Hampshire Supreme Court could make it easier for out-of-state gun owners to obtain concealed-carry licenses.

The court on Thursday sided with a New Jersey man who argued that the New Hampshire Department of Safety overstepped its authority in 2013 when it enacted new rules for nonresidents applying for concealed-carry permits. Under those rules, applicants must supply proof that they have such licenses in their home states.

NHPR Staff

Governor Maggie Hassan says last week's shooting of two Manchester police officers by a suspect who with mental health problems illustrates the need for New Hampshire to do a better job of keeping guns away from people who shouldn't have them.

"I think this issue needs to be looked at by a broad coalition of stakeholders and that is certainly one of the questions that they should address. I think we should work together to take steps forward to improve public safety and public heath of New Hampshire," Hassan said.

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House lawmakers have voted 217-132 to require local officials to issue conceal weapons permits to person not barred from owning a gun.

The mostly party line vote came after the GOP-controlled house overturned a committee recommendation to kill the bill.

Seabrook Republican Max Abramson told colleagues this bill was about making sure a constitutional right is unabridged.

"Senate bill 336 would simply restore the right of law abiding gun owners, who have the lawful right to open carry, to simply put on their jacket."

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A bill that would crack down on sales of firearms to people banned from having guns is working its way through the State House.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

It was a long first day for the New Hampshire House, as lawmakers debated dozens of bills to begin the 2016 session.

The House passed a proposal, 206 to 146, to allow people to carry a concealed firearm without a license. A similar measure passed the House and Senate but was vetoed by Governor Hassan last year.

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After a group of anti-government activists took over an Oregon wildlife refuge last weekend, news outlets are struggling with how to identify them and their goals. On today’s show, a media reporter says in today's partisan, all-in media landscape, news reporters have an obligation to choose words carefully.

Then, 2015 was a banner year for science, from Pluto’s photo shoot, to the Ebola vaccine. So what's next? We'll hear about some of the big ideas in store for 2016, including the future of the gene editing tool: CRISPR.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Officials say 11,000 New Hampshire state employees will begin mandatory training on active shooter situations next month.

The Concord Monitor reports Gov. Maggie Hassan's office developed the course in conjunction with the New Hampshire Department of Safety following the San Bernardino, California, mass shooting that killed 14 people earlier this month.

The two-hour class will teach employees what to do if an active shooter ever entered a state building. It's based on a national model that also stresses the warning signs of suspicious activity.

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Two more high-profile mass shootings this past month have rekindled the national debate over guns, gun rights, and gun regulation. Politicians have weighed in from the Presidential campaign trail and on Capitol Hill, but common ground remains elusive. Some say we need to tighten laws and oversight in the interest of public safety, while others say the solution is for more civilians to arm themselves in the interest of self-defense.


Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As more details come out about the shooting in San Bernardino, terrorism threats and measures to restrict guns have become part of the debate surrounding national security.

NHPR spoke with both of New Hampshire’s Senators this morning about one of President Obama’s proposals: banning the sale of guns to those on the government’s no-fly list.

On the night of President Obama’s address, Republican Kelly Ayotte tweeted that the country needs to prevent those on the no-fly list from accessing guns.

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NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers joins Morning Edition most Monday mornings for "On The Political Front."

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New Hampshire Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte says those on the no-fly list should be banned from purchasing guns.

Ayotte made her position known Sunday on Twitter, saying that those on the watch list should not be able to purchase firearms.

She also called for due process for Americans who are wrongfully on the list.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Hillary Clinton told an audience at Keene State College in New Hampshire that more stringent gun laws would save lives, and if she wins election she’d consider implementing a federal gun buyback program, and using executive powers to require universal background checks for gun purchases.

NHPR

The New Hampshire House voted in a nearly a 2-1 margin to reject a bill to require criminal background checks on all commercial firearm sales.

Prior to the vote, Republican John Burt from Goffstown, argued that requiring criminal background checks would be a waste of time.

“All this bill is going to do is interrupt law-abiding citizens, that’s all any gun legislation does, because the criminal will always have his gun,” Burt said yesterday.

Gun Store / Flickr Creative Commons

  The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee will hear arguments Thursday on a bill that would expand background checks for gun sales in the state.

The bill, sponsored by five Democratic representatives and one Republican senator, would require all commercial sales or transfers use a licensed firearms dealer. Licensed dealers are required to vet buyers through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. But sales at gun shows or through personal ads are currently possible without background checks.

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