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N.H. Senate Hears Three Gun Control Bills

New Hampshire Senate
Allegra Boverman

Three bills aimed at tightening New Hampshire's gun laws were heard by a New Hampshire Senate committee today. The hearing revealed a sharp divide on policies that may get decided by Governor Chris Sununu.

One bill would mandate background checks on all gun sales; another would create a seven-day waiting period between the purchase and delivery of a firearm.

The third would limit the carrying of firearms on school property to law enforcement, members of the military and those authorized by the local school board. 

Backers of the bills, like Tracey-Hahn Burkett, of Bow, pitched them as reasonable steps to protect the public.

"What could be a more obvious state interest than safe guarding the rights of the lives of New Hampshire citizens," she said.

But opponents, like Richard Shepard of Portsmouth, say the bills infringe on fundamental rights.

"My firearms belong to me," he said. "It's my property. It doesn't belong to you."

Democratic support pushed these bills through the New Hampshire House, and they are expected to pass the Senate. Governor Chris Sununu hasn't said he'll veto them, but has said he supports state gun laws as they are.

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.

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