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NH News

N.H. Lawmaker Wants To Make Training A Prerequisite To Owning Firearms

A New Hampshire lawmaker wants to make it a requirement for those purchasing firearms to have to go through safety training first.

State representative Cynthia Sweeney filed her request for the legislation prior to the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

But Sweeney, a Charlestown Democrat, says the tragedy makes the need for training those who own firearms more pressing.

Sweeney’s legislation would make it a requirement for anyone purchasing or acquiring a firearm to attend a gun safety course.

“And it can be as simple as a gun safety course given by your local gun club, which I understand is free. But something that makes you pay attention, that when you pick up this thing, it has the potential of causing harm.”

While there is no requirement, there are options for those who want to learn proper handling of a firearm on their own.

Burrell “Butch” York, the President of the Exeter Sportsmans’ Club, agrees that some training on properly using and securing guns should be a prerequisite to owning them.

"If individuals are going to continue to possess firearms, then it seems to me that we've got to get our training and education closer to the individual," York says.

Sweeney plans to file the legislation for the 2013 session.