Committee votes to allow guns in State House again

The Joint Facilities Committee of the new Republican-dominated state legislature voted on Tuesday to allow guns back into the New Hampshire State House.

The motion to change the law by House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt was seconded by Sen. Jeb Bradley. The lopsided vote was 10-1 with the only vote against allowing firearms coming from former Senate President Sylvia Larsen (D-Concord). Larsen was the only Democrat to attend the meeting.

The Facilities Committee decision is final and does not need to be approved by the whole legislature.

Deadly weapons were banned from the State House in December of 2008 by the state legislature, then under Democratic control.

This was the first binding action by the new state legislature after the Republican victories in the 2010 midterm elections.

Author: Patrick Hynes

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  • Bruce MacMahon

    “Deadly weapons were banned from the State House in December of 2008 by the state legislature, then under Democratic control.”

    Not quite.

    To clarify:

    In March of 2008, there was an attempt by Democrats in the legislature to ban the carrying of arms in the State House complex. The bill (HB 1354), sponsored by Rep. Eleanor Kjellman of Henniker, never made it out of the House. The People showed up in droves to testify against it, and made it quite clear that they did not want such a ban put in place.

    So, the Democrats did the next “best” thing. They circumvented the will of the People (as well as the legislative process) and enacted the same law by committee rule, without any advance notification to the public. This was done in December of 2009.

    What the Joint Legislative Facilities Committee did today was to undo the backhanded stunt that never should have been done in the first place. With the difference being, the Republicans on the committee this time around gave ample advance notice to allow fellow lawmakers to testify before the committee.

  • Rhansen

    Don’t let this happen at the State House:

  • Bruce MacMahon

    To reply to the Tweets going out about misplaced GOP priorities (How come they’re not working on the budget???), this ban was not a piece of legislation, the reversal of which required the attention of all 424 legislators. It was a committee rule reversed by a small committee which convened on Tuesday before the House had even begun the 2011 session. We have 400 state reps who will soon be doing committee work on numerous bills that have already been filed. This action by the JLFC took maybe an hour’s time to resolve at a time prior to the 2011 session beginning.

    There’s no “gotcha” moment here. Our priorities are well intact, thank you.