guns

A bill before the House Judiciary Committee would exempt gun permit records from the state’s right-to-know law.

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.

Amanda Loder / NHPR

  In the wake of the Newtown shootings, policy makers in New Hampshire and around the country asked themselves if there are policies that need changing. And one area where compromise seemed plausible was improving mental health reporting in background checks.

That was the subject of a bill before a state Senate committee today.

However, the proposal ultimately united groups --- ranging from the Second Amendment Sisters to the Disabilities Rights Center -- in opposition.

The bill aims to make it harder for New Hampshire residents with mental problems to acquire guns, and its dividing gun rights groups.

The proposal sponsored by Dover democratic Senator David Watters doesn’t tighten any gun laws.

Instead, it forces the state to share information regarding people who have been deemed incompetent by a court with the federal government.

N.H. is currently one of more than a dozen states that doesn’t share such mental health information with the National Instant Criminal Background Check index. 

This week, the legislature returns and hears new bills. Up before the Senate judiciary committee are a proposal to establish domestic violence as a separate crime and one requiring certain persons with mental illness to be barred from owning guns and placed on a federal registry. On Thursday, the House holds its first hearing on a bill to repeal the death penalty.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Many schools in New Hampshire enhanced their security in response to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. a year ago.

Those new measures come at a big cost to school districts.

And they’re forcing school officials to decide what type of security works for their buildings and their communities.

Even the head of Nashua’s school district needs clearance before he’s allowed into any of the city’s 17 schools.

“Hi, Mr. Conrad. Left door,” the secretary inside Elm Street Middle School says over the intercom.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

The news was hard to fathom a year ago: twenty first graders and six educators shot to death during an ordinary school day in Newtown, Connecticut.  Afterward, the national soul-searching seemed to reach new depths, with President Obama insisting “these tragedies must end, and to end them we must change.”  At the time, polls showed a majority of Americans agreed some aspects of gun laws could be altered, expanding background checks, for instance.   But Washington lawmakers failed pass legislation, and the debate has since shifted to the states.  Both sides have scored victories in state leg

Manchester police are still determining whether charges will be filed after a 5-year-old boy accidentally shot himself early Saturday morning.

alliance1911 via Flickr Creative Commons

As Instagram passes its third birthday, a small but growing community of users are beginning to utilize the website for the private exchange of goods. Two million of the site’s annual photo uploads are items being put up for sale, with the actual negotiations taking place via comment threads and private messages.

Among the many items being legally sold through Instagram are firearms.  Brian Ries is Senior Social Media Editor at The Daily Beast and joins us to explain.

Gun Enthusiasts Key To N.H. App Developer's Success

Oct 11, 2013
Amanda Loder / NHPR

Today, we wrap up our series The Download on New Hampshire’s App Economy with the profile of an independent developer.  In some ways, it’s a classic story: he left his full-time job to work on his program at home in Derry.  But  he’s anything but a stereotypical computer geek.

dimmerswitch via Flickr Creative Commons

Congressional approval rating hit a new now of 10.5 percent this week. If you’ve found yourself yelling at the radio and TV news coverage of the government shutdown and plotting revenge at the next election, you may not have to wait until 2014.

Last month, two of Colorado’s Democratic state senators became targets of a successful recall after voting for more restrictive gun legislation, adding to the increasing number of recall campaigns launched over the past two years. 

Seth Masket is a political scientist at the University of Denver, and a regular contributor to Pacific Standard.  He spoke with us about his article “The Recall is the New Normal”. 

Brandon Burris via flickr Creative Commons

We like to think of the Word of Mouth Saturday show as a convenient, one-hour public radio field trip. So pack a special picnic lunch and grab a buddy, here's what's on the itinerary this week:

  • Bill Maher Love him or hate him, it really doesn't matter, Bill Maher is a great interview.
  • Field Trips Jay Phillip Greene explains his recent study on the power of the school field trip. Turns out they have real and powerful educational value.

via motherboard.vice.com

Pop culture has made the sniper out to be the lone wolf of warfare.  The truth is that long-distance shooting is a two man-job.  The sniper may hold, aim and fire the rifle, but it’s the other half of the team – the spotter – who does the ballistics calculations of distance, drop, the slant of the earth, along with wind and other atmospheric factors. They’re typically equipped with a scope and a notepad, sometimes even a laptop.  So, what if there was a weapon that could do all the arithmetic for you, transforming even amateur fire-arm users into deadly sharp-shooters?  Well…now there is.

Derek Mead is host of the short film called “Long Shot” – covering his investigation and field test of the so-called “smart-rifle”, created by the Texas-based company Tracking Point  Solutions. “Long Shot” was produced by Vice magazine’s tech-based video channel Motherboard, and  Derek is also editor-in-chief of Motherboard.

Sturm, Ruger Announces Plans To Expand Out-Of-State

May 3, 2013
Amanda Loder / NHPR

It’s been a busy few years for Sturm, Ruger…so much so, the company is looking to start another factory out-of-state. 

Stand your ground - the controversial gun law that passed last year removed the obligation that a person first consider retreating before using deadly force in a public place. Last week, the New Hampshire house narrowly voted to repeal the law, but this effort faces a steep challenge in the Senate, while the  national debate over gun laws continues.

Guests:

Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

Our favorite content from the program, delivered in one sound-errific package.

This week, why robot interrogators might beat humans at getting to the truth. Mass shooter Amy Bishop's first victim...her brother, back in 1986. Why jury duty matters. The diverse cast of a New Hampshire production of "To Kill A Mockingbird." And the active social media lives of long-dead celebrities.

The N.H. House votes 211-151 to give gun owners immunity if their weapons are stolen and then used in a crime.

Photo courtesy allvoices.com

Patrick Radden Keefe's stunning investigation into mass shooter Amy Bishop's past has gone hyper-viral. The New Yorker writer joins us to talk about Bishop's 1986 shooting of her younger brother, and how family dynamics may have played into her 2010 murder of three colleagues at the University of Alabama.

After almost any act of violence, be it a suicide or a mass school shooting, people ask questions, which usually boil down these questions: How could we have prevented this from happening? How can we keep it from happening again?

Dougtone via Flickr/CC - http://www.flickr.com/photos/dougtone/5044123946/in/photostream/

Throughout this week’s series on guns, we’ve heard  from residents of rural New Hampshire who think of firearms as a tool.

That’s a perspective you’ll hear and see in the North Country town of Colebrook, where you can pick up a firearm and home improvement tools in the same store.

The Knowles Gallery via Flickr Creative Commons

As part of NHPR’s series, A Loaded Issue, we take a historical look at our attitudes toward firearms that have shaped our laws then and now.  A libertarian streak, along with a rural hunting culture in the Live Free or Die state, has meant few restrictions on firearms.  But new arrivals have brought changing attitudes towards guns.

GUESTS:

Andy Smith- Director of UNH Survey Center and Associate Professor of Political Science.

Department of Agriculture photo, via Wikicommons

As we heard earlier in this series, many rural residents of New Hampshire have a strong connection to guns. But that wasn’t always the case.

The number of machine guns still in circulation is small compared to handguns or rifles, but federal data shows that New Hampshire is home to more machine guns per capita than any other state – about 9800 registered machine guns in all, or 7.47 machine guns per 1000 people.

Reporter Jim Haddadin wrote about this distinction for Foster’s Daily Democrat. He talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about what he found.

Emily Corwin and Sara Plourde / NHPR

New Hampshire is bordered by Vermont, which has the least gun regulation in the nation -- and Massachusetts, which has some of the tightest gun restrictions around.  After the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, we put together this infographic, exploring the diversity of gun laws among our neighbors. 

[Note: While the information has not changed, some of the wording has been updated for better clarity. Click the image to read at full size.]

bisongirl via flickr Creative Commons

Women are a growing part of the debate over gun rights and potential new gun laws – partly because there are growing numbers of women who own and use guns. Erica Goode is a national correspondent on criminal justice issues for the New York Times; she wrote about the rising number of female gun owners this week, and she joins us as part of NHPR’s series on guns, “A Loaded Issue”.

In most cases, New Hampshire’s representatives in Congress have kept the state’s more open approach to gun ownership and gun rights during debates in Washington. There are exceptions, though, and they may tell us something about the state's role in today’s high profile national debate over gun violence.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

No doubt you've being hearing a lot about guns in the news lately. For the uninitiated, the types and terminology can be overwhelming, and can make understanding what you're hearing - and knowing if it's accurate - a veritable chore. As part of our series, A Loaded Issue, NHPR is aiming to assist in demystifying the firearm, starting with this infographic that outlines a few of the basics (click on the image to view at full size):

Josh Rogers, NHPR

Several hundred gun rights supporters, some carrying rifles and pistols, rallied Thursday outside the State House.

Rally organizers were collecting signatures for a petition telling Governor Hassan and New Hampshire  lawmakers to nullify federal gun control laws.

The petition is blunt: it says N.H. public officials are “duty bound” to declare void all federal gun limits that don’t comport with the constitution. Jerry Delemus organized the rally and leads the Rocheter 9/12 group.

Grappling over Gun Laws

Jan 11, 2013
Auraelius via Flickr Creative Commons

We wrap up our three-day series on possible lessons from the Newtown shootings, with a look at some of the battles brewing over gun control and gun rights. President Obama has said he’ll do what it takes to curb gun violence. And lawmakers here in the Granite State are gearing up to take on such gun-related issues as the state’s Stand Your Ground law.

Guests:

Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

Word of Mouth's weekly show...the best of the best of Word of Mouth.

Part 1:

A new study shows that the act of holding a gun changes perception, as participants saw guns that weren't actually there. And Clay Wirestone wraps up the latest in video game trends, and looks forward to what's coming in 2013

Part 2:

TED cracks down on pseudoscience at local spinoff TEDX conferences. And film critic Garen Daley tells us what we can expect on the big screen in 2013

Part 3:

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