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Senate Puts the Brakes on Looser Gun Laws

Flikr Creative Commons / velkr0

After hearing nearly four hours of public testimony, a senate committee set aside a trio of bills that would loosen gun laws. 

The firstbill would give the legislature the exclusive power to prohibit guns on public property – like colleges and the state-house. That would mean that if UNH wanted such a restriction, it would have to get lawmakers to agree.

For Ed Mackay, the chancellor of the University of New Hampshire system, that’s not a good recipe.

"Access to weapons -- deadly weapons -- when students may be drinking or engaged in other types of activities, sets up a circumstance that’s likely to result in some tragic accident," says Mackay.

The other two bills would eliminate the need for a permit to carry a concealed weapon, and allow loaded hunting weapons in vehicles.

Supporters of the new laws say they are necessary to safeguard second amendment rights.

John Evans of the NH Firearms coalition says he wants to avoid a situation like Massachusetts, where "individual towns can make their own rules and regulations in regards to who can have a gun, who can’t have a gun, who’s a good person who’s a bad person and what have you."

The bills passed the House of Representatives, but the governor has said he would veto all three if they came before him. The Senate judiciary committee sent all three bills to interim study.



Sam Evans-Brown has been working for New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. He shifted gears in 2016 and began producing Outside/In, a podcast and radio show about “the natural world and how we use it.” His work has won him several awards, including two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, one national Murrow, and the Overseas Press Club of America's award for best environmental reporting in any medium. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates College, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.
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