New Hampshire 2A Preservation Act

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

Sometimes my choice of focus may seem odd to readers.  But I try to focus on the things worthy of that focus, and on important trends.  There’s almost always a video to link on somebody shooting yet another rifle into a pile of bricks.  That’s not important.

Recall that we covered the Missouri 2A preservation act in gory detail – the political machinations, the law enforcement resistance to it and desire to buddy up with the federal government, the “sky is falling” predictions of the opponents, and most important, the staunch opposition to it by the federal government and the corollary legal actions to try to stop it.

The federal government hates 2A preservation acts, and for very good reason.  I told you this movement would grow, and it is.  I’ll also predict that what we see in Missouri is only the beginning.  This is Version 1.  There will be a Version 2, and 3, until they achieve the separation they want.  The movement is also growing as I said, and this time the play is being set up for us in NH.

News from NH.

Gov. Chris Sununu will soon need to decide whether to sign a bill to prevent New Hampshire law enforcement agencies from cooperating with federal agencies over enforcement of federal firearms laws. But exactly how the law might be applied – and how it might affect a firearms regulation package being negotiated in Washington – has been hotly debated in recent weeks.

Gun safety advocates and Democrats say the bill could undermine New Hampshire efforts to provide information to federal agencies determining who can purchase a firearm. And some, including the New Hampshire State Police, raised concerns that it could interfere with domestic violence protective orders.

Firearms advocates have praised the bill as a first step toward pushing back at perceived federal encroachment. But some of them say the bill does not go far enough and includes too many exceptions.

And few know how New Hampshire law enforcement would respond to the proposed law in practice.

House Bill 1178 prevents any state or local government from using resources to take action “to enforce, administer, or cooperate with” federal firearms laws that don’t exist in New Hampshire law. The bill applies to any “law, act, rule, order, or regulation” of the U.S. government and applies to any federal laws or rules relating to firearms, ammunition, magazines, ammunition feeding devices, firearms components, firearms supplies, or knives.

The bill, which cites Part II, Article 5 of the New Hampshire Constitution – the state’s’s right to bear arms – would apply that prohibition to “any person acting under the color of state, county, or municipal law.”

[ … ]

But the bill also contains exceptions. Under the bill, state or local law enforcement agents are allowed to cooperate in federal firearms investigations or arrests as long as there is a “reasonable suspicion” that that person has committed or is about to commit an additional offense not tied to a federal firearms rule or law. That exception includes any state law or a federal law that does not apply to firearms.

The exception means that New Hampshire State Police could assist in an operation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives or the FBI against a New Hampshire resident with an illegal modification to their firearm, provided that they were suspected of doing something else illegal in the state, such as trespassing or firearms trafficking.

Firearms rights groups argue that that caveat is broad, and means that State Police and other agencies would be able to participate in many federal investigations or arrests.

NH isn’t willing to take anything but baby steps at the moment, those steps rendering the bill all but useless.  It isn’t necessary for state law enforcement to “cooperate” with the federal government – they can always do the investigative work themselves and effect the arrests they need under state law.

“There are very rarely going to be circumstances where there is a federal law enforcement activity occurring, criminal law enforcement activity occurring, where state and local officials are going to be prevented from cooperating,” said Sean List, an attorney with Lehmann Major List, PLLC and a firearms rights advocate.

“If someone is illegally selling machine guns … we don’t have a state law that says you can’t sell machine guns, but that’s probably a pretty bad dude,” he added. “And we can very easily figure out an articulable suspicion that this individual is also violating state law.”

Instead, supporters of the legislation say the law would more likely limit state officials from helping the enforcement of federal rules from the ATF or presidential executive orders.

One example is a rule passed by the Trump administration’s ATF in 2018 that would ban “bump stocks,” the devices that allow semi-automatic firearms to fire continuously, like a machine gun. That component was used during a deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 59 people in 2017. The ATF and the U.S. Attorney General’s Office used the federal statute banning machine guns and applied it to bump stocks; that rule has been upheld by the U.S. Circuit Court after legal challenges.

Under HB 1178, state law enforcement agencies would not be able to help the ATF or FBI arrest someone who had modified their firearm with a bump stock, unless other laws were broken.

The shootings in Las Vegas weren’t perpetrated by a gun with a bump stock.  The event was a running gun fight down main street for miles based on 911 calls.  What you’ve been told is a lie.

Furthermore, one side says this, the other side says that.  This will cause confusion in the legal system, confusion to be exploited by law enforcement who wants to cooperate with the federal government, and confusion among the folks of NH.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  They could make it clear.  No cooperation.  Period.

You can read the rest of the article, but while I hope this gets signed by the governor, I consider it to be weak tea.  This should be considered Version 1 and needs to be modified as soon as possible.  Get it signed, make incremental advances, and take the issue on again next session.

I consider this to be bad reporting.  The writer gives us no hint concerning the predilections of the governor.  Is he disposed to sign this bill into law, or not?

Again, keep track of this movement.  This is one of the more important trends in America for gun rights as the Balkanization of America continues apace.


Comments

  1. On July 6, 2022 at 6:41 am, Annie P said:

    From a NH resident – Sununu himself is weak tea. He is not conservative in any principled way. He has a “younger” son personality (he’s never accomplished anything of substance on his own except run for Governor, yes, in his father’s name) and likes being a big fish in a modest pond, and won’t stand for anything that anyone will call him a bad name for. He’s not exceptionally popular here – and would not have won against Hassan for Senate this fall. He weakened the anti-abortion law he signed and vetoed a bill which would have protected parents and children against sexualization in schools. He’s not trustworthy. He’s sort of a dope. But his parents are very nice. His mother especially. We are neighbors…..

  2. On July 6, 2022 at 11:04 am, Steve said:

    Signed by Governor Sununu 06/24/2022

    He also signed a bill (HB1636) that allows carry on snowmobiles and off road vehicles without a permit. This was fixing an oversight from when constitutional carry was passed.

    He is pretty good on gun rights but not on social issues. He is no DeSantis.

  3. On July 6, 2022 at 8:09 pm, Bill Buppert said:

    None of this means a thing until they stipulate the arrest of Federal invaders for harassing, fining, kidnapping, caging, maiming or killing NH citizens.

  4. On July 6, 2022 at 9:16 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    Like I said Bill.

    This is Version 1. There will need to be subsequent Versions, when they get used to this and as the FedGov continues to encroach.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Second Amendment and was published July 5th, 2022 by Herschel Smith.

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