Granite State Progress supports gun violence prevention, including opportunities to strengthen state and federal laws such as closing the background checks loophole and advocating for policies that protect our children and our communities. Since 2009, Granite State Progress has monitored firearms related policy at the state level, working with other state-based and national groups and advocates to advance public safety laws and defeat dangerous gun lobby sponsored legislation.
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- 2019 NH Gun Violence Prevention Coalition Priority Bills, Fact Sheets & Action Alerts
- New Hampshire Gun Violence Prevention Bill Tracking 2019
- Gun Violence Prevention Speakers Bureau
- Get Involved in a Local Gun Violence Prevention Group or Student Club
- Be SMART for Kids and Mother’s Dream Quilt Project
- Gun Violence Prevention Vote Records
2019 NH Gun Violence Prevention Coalition Priority Bills, Fact Sheets & Action Alerts
Our four main priority bills for the 2019 session are closing background check loopholes, creating a waiting period between the purchase and delivery of a firearm, clarifying statewide gun free schools, and passing an extreme risk protection order. Learn more about each bill below, then take action to help secure passage of this package of public safety bills.
HB 109, Background Checks to Keep Guns Out of Hands of Dangerous Felons, Domestic Abusers, and Other Prohibited Persons
In 2018, New Hampshire conducted over 120,000 background checks to keep guns out of the hands of felons, domestic abusers, and other prohibited persons. But guns sold in New Hampshire through private sales at gun shows, online, or the classifieds do not currently require a background check. Under this bill, commercially advertised gun sales – a sale, transfer, or exchange of a firearm that takes place at, or on the curtilage of, a gun show or pursuant to an offer to sell or buy a firearm from an advertisement, posting, listing, or display – would require a criminal background check through a federally licensed dealer using the same background check system already used in all dealer sales. Requiring a background check every time a gun is sold is effective in keeping guns out of the hands of those with a criminal record. This just makes sense: responsible gun owners shouldn’t put guns in the hands of people they don’t know. Sales and transfers between family and friends are not subject to a background check, but a penalty applies if an individual transfers or sells a firearm to a prohibited person.
Fact Sheet & Talking Points: GunSense NH, HB 109, Closing Background Checks Loopholes Senate Outreach & Talking Points, Last Rvs 4.25.19
HB 514, Creating a Waiting Period Between Purchase and Delivery of a Firearm
Waiting periods require a certain number of days to pass between when a gun is first purchased and when the buyer may actually take possession of it. The two main functions of waiting periods are to give law enforcement officials sufficient time to properly perform a background check on prospective purchaser, and provide a “cooling off” period to help guard against impulsive acts of violence—especially suicide. This bill creates a 7-day waiting period. Waiting periods close what is known as the “Charleston Loophole.” Under federal law, a licensed dealer may proceed with the sale of a firearm after 3 business even if the mandated background check has not yet been completed and there’s been no confirmation that the purchaser is legally permitted to have guns. The perpetrator of the Charleston church shooting—who was legally prohibited from having guns—was able to use this loophole to purchase the gun he used in that tragedy before the background check was completed. This bill would help address the “Charleston Loophole” by allowing additional time for the completion of a background check and help ensure that prohibited people cannot purchase firearms in New Hampshire. Waiting periods also help reduce the occurrence of suicides and other impulsive acts of violence. Suicides constitute two-thirds of all gun deaths in the U.S., with more than 21,000 suicides by firearm per year. Guns are an extremely common means of suicide; half of all suicides in the U.S. are carried out with a firearm and compared to other means of attempting suicide, guns are uniquely lethal. This fact is incredibly important because almost all people who survive a suicide attempt go on to live out their lives and do not subsequently die by suicide. Waiting periods improve public safety and protect community members from harm.
HB 564, Statewide Gun Free Schools
Guns do not belong in our schools. Most people do not realize there is no state law preventing guns in New Hampshire elementary, middle, and high schools. The federal Gun Free Schools Act prohibits students from bringing firearms into schools, and the Gun Free Schools Zone Act prohibits all other persons from bringing firearms within 1,000 feet of school property unless they are licensed by the state to carry a firearm. But gaps in state law and a recent statement from the Attorney General’s office has left local school districts and police departments in murky water on enforcement and jeopardizes safe spaces for our children to learn and grow. Right now, someone could bring a gun into a school and unless they issue threats or start shooting students, school administrators and local police departments have little recourse. Meanwhile, school protocol is to go into lockdown. The presence of firearms in our schools disrupts learning environments and takes school personnel and resources away from their primary job of teaching our children. This bill seeks to clarify gun free school zones in New Hampshire. The vast majority of states – 47 of them – and the District of Columbia prohibit carrying or possessing a firearm on K-12 school property or events. Only Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Wyoming do not. New Hampshire is putting its students, educators, school districts, and police departments at risk by not making it abundantly clear that school districts and police departments can enforce gun free schools. This is a major insurance liability and public relations crisis for our schools at best – and the loss of student and educator lives at worst. Federal and state laws ensuring that schools are gun-free zones have helped make K-12 schools even safer, significantly reducing gun violence in these places. We have a responsibility to ensure our students’ safety. Let’s empower our school districts and police departments to take action to deter a dangerous situation before it becomes a deadly one.
Fact Sheet & Talking Points: GunSense NH, HB 564 Statewide Gun Free Schools Senate Outreach Talking Points, Last Rvs 4.25.19
HB 687, Extreme Risk Protection Orders
Extreme risk protection orders—also called gun violence restraining orders—enable courts to temporarily prohibit a person from having guns if law enforcement or immediate family members show that the individual poses a significant danger to themselves or others. ERPO laws have been shown to reduce suicide rates by providing an opportunity to intervene and prevent a person from accessing firearms during a time of crisis, before dangerous warning signs escalate into firearm suicide. ERPO laws empower family members and law enforcement to petition for a temporary (14 day) and then final (1 year) order that temporarily removes guns from a dangerous situation and reduces the risk of suicide. ERPO laws can also prevent gun violence against others—like mass shootings—by enabling law enforcement and family to take action before crisis turns into tragedy. Before he killed six people in Isla Vista, California in May 2014, the shooter displayed numerous warning signs, including making homicidal and suicidal threats. His parents alerted law enforcement, but it was decided he did not meet the criteria for emergency commitment—so he kept his guns and used them in the killing spree three weeks later. Often family members or law enforcement see warning signs early, but have no recourse to help the individual or prevent tragedies; ERPO laws fix that and save lives.
Update: Bill Retained in House Criminal Justice Committee, will be worked on over summer and fall of 2019 for passage in 2020.
There are other firearms related bills in the State Senate and State House; these are the NH Gun Violence Prevention Coalition priorities for 2019. To learn more about other bills, download the tracking sheet below.
New Hampshire Gun Violence Prevention Bill Tracking 2019
Below are 2019 bills dealing with firearms in the New Hampshire State Senate and State House. Our tracking sheet does not mean support or opposition to these bills unless otherwise noted. If you have any questions related to these bills, please call our office at (603) 225-2471 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download latest tracking sheet:
Gun Violence Prevention Speakers Bureau
Book a presenter and host a workshop or briefing on firearms-related policy and politics at the state and federal level, followed by an update on current gun violence prevention efforts. Workshop offerings include how to talk about major gun violence prevention efforts, including background checks and other popular reforms, as well as action steps that can be taken right now to reduce gun violence in our communities. Contact us to schedule a presenter from Granite State Progress or one of our gun violence prevention coalition members.
Get Involved in a Local Gun Violence Prevention Group
There are a lot of powerful gun violence prevention groups. Here are a few of our favorites besides Granite State Progress’ GunSense NH – click on the name to take action and get action updates.
*** Moms Demand Action-NH takes the lead on public education in New Hampshire and we highly encourage you to get involved with them! ***
NH Gun Violence Prevention Coalition (Statewide Network) | Granite State Progress. The statewide coalition for gun violence prevention has worked together for the last 6 years to protect and advance common sense public safety laws. The coalition typically holds a NH GVP Summit each fall that includes message training, state and federal landscape updates, and campaign planning for the coming year. Interested community members and grassroots groups are encouraged to get connected to this state-led efforts and collaboration. To get involved in the statewide coalition, bookmark this page or contact Granite State Progress at (603) 225-2471 or email@example.com. Coalition members include both individuals and champion legislators as well as organizations representing advocates, moms, medical professionals, gun owners, law enforcement, educators, students, and faith leaders.
NH Social Justice League (Student/Youth Network). Students across New Hampshire have launched a statewide student network for school safety. The catalyst for formation was the activism displayed by the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. We stand with them in our current focus on gun reform in order to end the horrendous cycle of mass shootings in which our nation is currently trapped. Student and youth leaders are encouraged to join the listserve and participate in monthly meetings. Community members can forward contact information for area student leaders to our high school intern Sophia Graebe at firstname.lastname@example.org to get them connected or have youth visit http://www.nhsocialjusticeleague.org/.
NH School Safety Coalition (Educators/Administrators Network). NEA-New Hampshire is convening educators, PTO’s, school administrators, school boards, mental health advocates, and others who are working on school safety from a practitioner perspective. If you are an educator or serve on a school related board or PTO, email email@example.com to get connected.
GVP Champion Legislators (Elected Officials Network). Our state is well-served by several leading elected champions of gun violence prevention working in partnership with advocacy groups and concerned community members. Elected officials seeking to become more involved in these efforts are encouraged to contact Granite State Progress or State Representative Katherine Rogers.
The leaders and membership of these distinct coalitions are collaborating on issues and strategy, though may differ in approaches.
Looking for facts and information about firearms? Our go-to source is the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence which provides data and analysis, as well as trends in federal and state legislation. Check out the New Hampshire page. We also recommend Center for American Progress for timely news.
Be SMART for Kids and Mother’s Dream Quilt Project
Public policy is only one avenue for reducing gun violence. Join our partners at Moms Demand Action for some of these other opportunities to take action. Contact Moms Demand Action to get involved.
Be SMART for Kids. Children and unsecured guns are a dangerous, and all too often deadly, mix. Responsible adults–both gun owners and non-gun owners alike–can help prevent tragedies that result when kids get ahold of unsecured guns. The Be SMART program provides five simple steps that we can all take to prevent children from accessing guns.
Mother’s Dream Quilt Project. Every mother dreams of a happy future for her children. Unfortunately, too many American mothers see that dream shattered by gun violence—which has become part of the very fabric of our country. Moms Demand Action has created The Mother’s Dream Quilt Project to symbolize the human toll of gun violence in America, and mothers’ shared dream of a country where all our children will be safe.
Gun Violence Prevention Vote Records 2017-18
Governor Sununu and Senate Republicans spent their time in Concord parroting gun lobby talking points instead of standing up for the safety of students and families. Meanwhile, other elected officials were working hard to advance common sense gun violence prevention measures. Here’s how your State Senators and Representatives voted during the 2017-18 session :
(Select your county to view or print)
To find your legislator, use this look-up tool at the NH General Court:
For an easy-glance page of the vote records for sharing on social media, use: