Help Save Suppressors; Action Needed Again on SB 500

Click on the Take Action button to send a new message to your state senator in opposition to SB 500. And you can cut-and-paste that message to contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee — their email addresses are included below — since they will be voting on this bill on as early as Tuesday.

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SB 500 to be Voted on as Early as Tuesday

Dear Friend:

Your activism has the pro-gun compromisers squealing in Concord!

So you know what that means? It’s time for another round of emails and phone calls!

Now, here’s the situation.

On Tuesday, February 20, the state Senate Judiciary Committee will probably conduct an executive session (that is, vote on) Senate Bill 500 — a bill which, as introduced, had some very troubling anti-gun provisions.

As GOA has explained in recent alerts, S.B. 500 would replace New Hampshire’s narrow definition of “firearm” with a federal definition (at 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(3)) which contains some firearms parts (receivers) and suppressors.

Both the parts and the suppressors would be newly regulated as “firearms” in New Hampshire, just at the moment where we were making some headway toward fully or partially deregulating them for purposes of federal law.

At their core, suppressors are nothing more than elaborate metal tubes used to protect the hearing of the gun user.

Contrary to anti-gun propaganda, they do not render the firearm “silent.” And even countries that heavily regulate guns, like Norway, encourage the purchase of suppressors as a public health measure.

Supporters of S.B. 500 claim that the extension of regulation to receivers and suppressors is justified by the fact that New Hampshire law already uses the federal definition with respect to its law prohibiting grabbing a firearm from a policeman.

Suffice it to say that no one ever tries to grab an unconnected receiver or an unconnected suppressor from a police officer. What they try to grab is a whole gun.

On the other hand, the fact that the broad regulation of firearms would be extended by S.B. 500 to receivers and suppressors is very significant.

In addition, Senate Bill 500, as introduced, would have amended RSA 207:3 to narrow language allowing guns to be used for hunting. Currently, that section uses the word “guns,” which includes air guns, muzzle loaders, and guns which might be developed with new technology in the future.

Thus, the prohibition against air guns for hunting, which is opposed by NH gun manufacturers, is wholly the result of regulatory fiat. But the new definition allowing only firearms for hunting would exclude air guns and guns developed using new technology.

Finally, Senate Bill 500 purports to expand your ability to keep a loaded rifle in a stationary car. But, if you drive that car 50 feet, you’re an outlaw.

The amended bill uses a tortuous definition of “loaded” that may or may not allow loaded rifles and shotguns to be carried in cars. We won’t know for sure, unless SB 500 is passed into law and someone is arrested and charged with violating this provision.

It is important to remember that the ban on loaded rifles and shotguns in cars is a possessory only, violation level offense. In other words, the mere act of possessing a loaded long arm in a car, without any other activity, is unlawful and can result in arrest which is why we have pushed for a repeal for several years.

Smoke and Mirrors?

Now, everything I have said above refers to S.B. 500 as introduced — as well as, to the most recent public draft of the bill.

The sponsors of this bill now claim they have a new “secret” amendment to deal with the problems that GOA has referenced. We are hopeful that we will be able to see the language. But supporters pointedly refuse to show it to the public or Gun Owners of America.

In addition, they refuse to show it to Gun Owners of New Hampshire — the state NRA affiliate — because GONH works with GOA. I don’t want to be disrespectful, but this level of pettiness is reminiscent of children on a playground.

If legislators are going to refuse to speak with GOA or the NRA affiliate in the state — or the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition for that matter — then you have to decide if you are going to trust these senators when they claim to have a “secret” amendment that will supposedly clean up the bill.

So, until these supposed fixes are made public, it’s incumbent upon those who love the “shall not be infringed” language of the Second Amendment to take action once again and keep the heat on.

Again, please contact your state senator and urge him or her to oppose the anti-gun Senate Bill 500.

And here are the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee members:

* Chair, Senator Sharon Carson, Phone 603-271-1403 [email protected]
* Vice Chair, Senator Bette R. Lasky, Phone: 603-271-3093 [email protected]
* Senator Harold French, Phone: 603-271-4063 [email protected]
* Senator William Gannon, Phone: 603-271-7803 (Aide): [email protected]
* Senator Martha Hennessey, Phone: 603-271-3067 [email protected]

If you could also contact them, that would be fantastic!

Thank you for your help.


Michael Hammond
Legislative Counsel

P.S. Please urge your state senator to oppose SB 500. And please consider chipping in $20, $30, or $50 to GOA’s fight to snuff out gun control in the states like New Hampshire.