Lawmakers heard public testimony Wednesday on two bills which would regulate firearms in New Hampshire schools.
One bill would prohibit carrying a gun in so-called school safe zones. A separate bill would allow individual school districts to regulate firearms and knives.
House Education Committee members heard hours of testimony on the two bills, with opponents contending the measures would render parents or educators defenseless in the event of a school shooting.
Anthony Zore of Conway said he drove through the snow to add his testimony. He said the proposed restrictions would make schools less safe.
“This is disarming the very people we should want to carry,” Zore said. “Because if you're going to respect this law, if you're going to go to a school event or go to pick up your kids or do anything like that, and you're respecting this law, you're the type of person who should be carrying in a school.”
Former teachers spoke both for and against the proposed measures. Many in attendance wore buttons or stickers signifying their support of gun ownership rights.
Many also donned red “Moms Demand Action” t-shirts, signifying their support of stricter gun laws. That was true for Nancy Glynn. She says her son is what brought her out.
"He's 6 years old and he's already had a lot of these gun drills, you know, these drills in schools,” Glynn said. “And now, whenever anyone even mentions the word gun, he is absolutely terrified and he looks for a place to cover."
Barrett Christina, Executive Director of the New Hampshire School Boards Association, testified that NHSBA membership was opposed to both bills.
“Our membership has spoken,” Christina said. “It’s a close vote, just as I think if we were to extrapolate the votes of the local school boards across New Hampshire, we would find that it’s similar if we polled the citizens of New Hampshire as well. We’re going to find half on one side and half on the other.”