Guns

This primary season, NHPR is taking a closer look at some of the issues defining the presidential primary races in a series we’re calling Where They Stand. Today, we’re looking at gun control and the Democratic candidates' positions, both past and present.

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.

josh rogers/nhpr

Hillary Clinton spoke at Manchester Community College Monday. She noted the location was similar to that of the recent mass shooting in Oregon that left nine people dead. Clinton told the crowd the nation needs to stop greeting such events with what she termed a shrug.

“It’s time for us to say, 'Wait a minute, we are better than this. Our country is better than this, and there are steps we can take.' "

Clinton is proposing that any person engaging in "a high volume of gun sales," over the internet or at gun shows, perform background checks like seller at gun stores.

Rene Jakobson via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/4UoQ63

Just a few years ago, marriage equality seemed dead in the water. Now the players are running a victory lap. Today, we learn how gun control activists are now recruiting ideas and people from the gay marriage movement. Then, one of the most isolated communities in the world is about to become a lot more social when their first airport opens next year, but the change may not be welcome. And, summer vacation season is in full swing with tourists jet setting all over the world. But what happens when the place you’re visiting is in the midst of a global financial crisis? We’ll speak to a man traveling to Greece this week to find out how he’s planning to pack.

Is Gun Violence a Public Health Issue?

Jun 29, 2015
Michael Saechang / Flickr / Creative Commons

After the latest mass shooting, both sides of the divisive gun debate are digging in and change appears unlikely. But there are some who frame gun violence in a third way -- as a public health issue. Still others see this as a thinly veiled approach to more gun control.

North Country reps were almost evenly split on whether to allow concealed weapons to be carried without a permit.

As NHPR reported Senate Bill 116 would repeal the law requiring a permit for concealed carry – “unless such person is otherwise prohibited.”

Nine of 14 North Country representatives voted Wednesday to kill a bill that would have required criminal background checks on all commercial firearm sales.

All but one were Republicans.

Five Democrats opposed killing the measure.

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.

22860 / Flickr/CC

With a new bill addressing how Granite Staters are allowed to carry a concealed gun, many are tapping in to the perennial conversation about concealed versus open carry. And while the right to bear arms is well-established in New Hampshire, there’s still debate about the who, where, and how when it comes to firearms.

GUESTS:

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

    

The Senate Judiciary committee is expected to hear testimony Thursday afternoon on a bill that would repeal the requirement to obtain a license to carry a concealed gun.

The hearing is likely to draw a large crowd of gun rights advocates and those who have concerns about loosening the state’s firearms regulations.

Wolfeboro Republican and Senate Majority Leader Jed Bradley is the bill’s prime sponsor.

He joined Morning Edition to talk about his proposal.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Legislators can again carry concealed weapons on the floor of the N.H. House and in the legislative office building after the Republicans-led house voted to undo a prohibition on the practice put in place two years ago by Democrats.

The 228-149 vote came following a debate where Democrats like Len DiSesa, former deputy police chief in Portsmouth, argued allowing guns in the chamber risks public safety.

“The only people who should be armed in the House of Representatives are trained police officers.”

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

The Manchester Police Department has announced the formation of a multi-agency collaboration to tackle gun and gang-related crime in the city.

  The group was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from a federal Department of Justice program. The money will be used to increase patrols in high crime areas and parole check-ins with probationers and at-risk youth. Manchester Chief David Mara says a big part of this program is showing potential offenders that they mean business.

Mary Schwalm/AP

Former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords is coming to New Hampshire to discuss protecting women from gun violence.

Giffords, who was shot in the head in 2011, has become a national advocate for gun reform and started the group Americans for Responsible Solutions.

On Wednesday in Concord, she'll join female legislators, law enforcement officers and the president of the Manchester YWCA, the site of a 2013 murder suicide.

The discussion will center on how to prevent domestic and gun violence through legislation.

Brian Wallstin for NHPR

Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was in New Hampshire Wednesday pushing for stronger gun laws.

Giffords was shot in the head during a campaign event in 2011, and is in the midst of a nine-state tour. She says strengthening gun laws would protect victims of domestic violence.

She made stops in Manchester and Concord on behalf of Americans for Responsible Solutions.

Executive director Pia Carusone says keeping the state’s Congressional Democrats in office is critical to the organization’s cause.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

A 21-year-old New Hampshire man charged in connection with a lockdown at his former high school in Manchester is heading to court.

Damian Johnson of Manchester will be arraigned Friday on a felony count of falsifying physical evidence and misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass, violation of probation and disrupting school in session.

Police say Manchester High School West was on lockdown for 90 minutes Thursday, after a student reported seeing Johnson with a gun tucked into his waistband. He was found in a small, occupied classroom and was arrested without incident.

 A New Hampshire police chief has been cleared of a charge of negligently storing firearms at his home after a 15-year-old boy fatally shot himself there.

Judge Edwin Kelly found Danville Police Chief Wade Parsons not guilty on a charge that he failed to properly secure his service revolver in a bedroom closet.

Jacob Carver, the son of Parsons' girlfriend, used the handgun to kill himself on March 11, 2013.

James Brady passed away earlier this week.

The former White House Press Secretary was also Vice Chair of the National Brain Injury Association. He came to NH for a technology expo focusing on new technology for people living with disabilities in 1995, not long after that he spoke with NHPR’s Laura Kiernan on our Perspectives program.

christopher.woo via Flickr Creative Commons

We spoke with Freakonomics co-author Stephen Dubner about three issues that have been dominating headlines lately. In case you’ve missed them and need to catch up quickly, we’ve compiled the highlights so you can be a champion of serious water-cooler discussions.

The major take-away? Dubner urges you to think like a freak, and to listen to more public radio.

J. Stephen Conn via Flickr CC

The House has killed a bill that allowed people barred from buying guns for mental health reasons to prove to a judge they're capable of owning a firearm.

Sturm, Ruger Recalls Rifle For Trigger Issues

Apr 14, 2014

One year after its release, Newport-based firearms manufacturer Sturm, Ruger is recalling a popular rifle similar to the AR-15.  

A bipartisan plan to expand Medicaid that is scheduled for a vote in the New Hampshire Senate this week has strong support from Granite Staters, according to a new poll.

New England College asked 774 registered voters if they would support a proposal backed by Gov. Maggie Hassan and a majority in the New Hampshire Senate “to extend private insurance to low-income residents, without passing the cost of coverage on to businesses.”

Gun Store / Flickr Creative Commons

House lawmakers have voted 242-118 to kill a bill that would have expanded background checks for gun sales in New Hampshire.

News Primer: Gun Bills At The Statehouse

Feb 11, 2014

New Hampshire lawmakers are mulling two bills that would expand background checks for gun purchases.

The House is expected to vote Wednesday on legislation that would require private sellers to conduct sales through licensed firearm dealers who, under federal law, must perform background checks on prospective buyers.

Gun Store / Flickr Creative Commons

A new bill would prohibit gun sales to some with mental illness. Supporters say it’s a common sense public safety measure. But there has been fierce opposition from some gun-rights groups, and from advocates who say the mentally ill are being unfairly singled out and are far more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violence.

GUESTS:

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.

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