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Letter: Gun control legislation shoved down our throats

I oppose HB 1589, a bill requiring background checks for all firearms transfers, but let me share how legislation is being handled in Concord by House Commerce Committee Chairman Ed Butler.

First, this is not New Hampshire legislation. It is a bill written by Connecticut’s Newtown Promise organization and New York’s Michael Bloomberg, working with New Castle Promise. Their mission is a total gun ban and citizen disarmament via incrementalism.

We do not have a gun problem in New Hampshire, and these gun laws are ineffective and only create more crime. The committee members supporting this, like Rep. Richard McNamara of Hillsboro who has probably never held a gun, want to make it look like they are doing something. I for one, a grandchild of Holocaust survivors, completely understand that gun control is not about guns – it is about control.

This legislation is being shoved down our throats. Butler has used appalling tactics such as last-minute canceled meetings, hastily written amendments and putting language to committee members minutes before a committee meeting is held so members are unable to analyze it. This is a total disservice to the people of this state. Underhanded and dishonest tactics are being used to get something passed in order to set the framework in statute to add more stringent laws later on. Gun owners of New Hampshire beware: These people will stop at nothing to turn New Hampshire into Connecticut and New York.

JUDY ARON

South Acworth

This bill fails on every test of what a good piece of legislation should be. 1) It's unnecessary - there are already laws on the books that cover what the bill is attempting to do. 2) Justification for the law is slim-to-none - facts and figures from other states should not be a factor, we're one of the safest states in the nation. 3) It's unenforceable - are we going to station LE officers in every private residence, 24/7, to prevent the kind of transfers that this bill seeks to curtail?

Ms Aron's comments about the legislative proceedings for HB 1589 are not supported by the docket for that bill. The bill went to the full committee on January 22nd, at which time a subcommittee was appointed to draft an amendment. That subcommittee drafted an amendment which was approved by the full committee a day later. None of this is especially unusual. The bill will (if passed by the full House) go to a second committee, the Criminal Justice Committee. The opposition to the bill is fierce, as I know from checking my legislative in-box, but none of it has anything to do with the amendment, which made the bill much less restrictive. The comments pro and con have all been based on the basic concept behind the bill.

Actually the laws already on the books prohibit transferring a gun to a convicted felon. It is already the responsibility of a gun seller to ensure that the person buying it has the legal right to possess a firearm in the first place. Anyone selling a firearm to persons unknown to him or her places great legal risk upon themselves if they simply take the buyer's word for it that they can in fact own a gun; most people selling already will insist on the gun being transferred through a dealer, where a full background check is done, when the buyer is someone they don't know. You'd be crazy not to take this step because if they can't own a gun and they commit a crime using the gun sold to them, "I didn't know" or "he lied to me" isn't going to be any kind of defense in a courtroom.

So being able to sell a gun to someone that couldn't legally buy one is considered have gun control shoved down our throats?? Strange logic and what does it matter who wrote the bill? Strange logic.

According to the US Department of Justice, less than 4% of all 'crime guns' they trace entered the black market through the private transfers this bill is makinging illegal. The 'big lie' here is that there is no public safety issue with people selling, giving or loaning firearms to people they know are not prohibited. These people know that their spouse, their friend or their co-worker is perfectly legal to own a firearm. that's why the number in the report is less than 4%. Except for the large number of stolen firearms, the rest of criminal firearms have already gone through a background check. That's because they are bought from retail stores, after passing a background check, by people who are knowingly selling these guns to a criminal. These 'straw purchases' are already a felony in every state, yet are almost never prosecuted. They also account for over 40% of the 'crime guns' in the DoJ study. So yes, this bill is irrational, and is indeed being 'shoved down peoples' throats'.

You make a good case for the registration of all guns. Inluding a requirement that all transfers private or dealer be also registered. Then anyone found in possession of a gun not registered to them could be prosecuted and if it was not reported stolen then the original registered owner could then also be prosecuted. I like that idea. That would end straw purchases.

NO HE DOESN'T!!!! What are you talking about?

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