House Votes To Tighten Gun Restrictions in Schools

Apr 4, 2019


Dennis Jakubowski (right) of Loudon debates gun rights with Republican Rep. Werner Horn of Franklin.
Credit Sarah Gibson for NHPR

A bill to restrict guns on school grounds passed the House on Thursday in a mostly partisan vote.

Under the proposed rules, anyone carrying a gun on school property or school buses would be fined and charged with a misdemeanor unless they're a member of the military or a law enforcement or school resource officer.

Anyone picking up or dropping off kids would be allowed to leave a firearm in the car as long as it was locked and unloaded.

Republican John Burt warned the bill would infringe upon the rights of teachers and community members, and that a gun-free-zone sticker wouldn’t stop a school shooter.

“They're a sick individual and the sticker is not going to stop them and the thousand dollar fine that's in the penalty is not going to stop them,” he said.

Democrat Mel Myler said the bill was a good compromise.

“The school board can vote to identify school employees to carry guns to use in case of an active shooter as opposed to allowing anyone to walk into the school with a loaded gun.”

The legislation is modeled after the federal Gun Free Schools Act, which many states have also adopted.