NH: ACTION NEEDED — Good bill turned bad!!
Enacting Second Amendment Sanctuary cities, counties and states is a priority for Gun Owners of America.
A few weeks ago we wrote about SB 154, which, when introduced by Senator Jeb Bradley was a good idea that lacked substance. As introduced, it would have only prohibited enforcement of post January 20, 2021 Presidential Executive Orders that restricted or regulated the right to keep and bear arms.
GOA was concerned because the bill did not extend to statutory laws. This is important because New Hampshire Attorney Generals have said that state and local police cannot enforce federal laws. Additionally, SB 154 only covered executive orders signed after January 20, 2021.
In short, SB 154 was a good idea but it did not really remove New Hampshire law enforcement from enforcing anti-gun federal laws.
In order to make SB 154 into a true Second Amendment Sanctuary bill, GOA worked with members of the House Criminal Justice Committee to draft an amendment to make certain that SB 154 would prohibit the enforcement, by New Hampshire law enforcement of anti-gun federal laws, rules and executive actions.
On June 3, the House of Representatives adopted the GOA-endorsed amendment. Unfortunately, on a motion from Senator Sharon Carson, the Senate refused to concur and requested a Committee of Conference to work out the differences.
Here’s where things went wrong…
The Committee of Conference met on June 16 and drafted a “compromise” that not only made January 20, 2021 the effective date but then they went even further…. they added specific language that actually allows — even encourages — New Hampshire law enforcement to enforce certain anti-gun federal laws and are enabling these investigations using reasonable suspicion rather than the higher burden of proof used in criminal cases — probable cause.
When we became aware of this, I contacted Rep. Daryl Abbas who was the sponsor of the strong House Amendment and a Member of the Committee of Conference. I explained our concerns to Rep. Abbas. He was very cordial even accommodating. He told me that if we don’t agree he won’t sign the amendment and it will die — the House won’t even have to vote and the bill will just quietly die.
This is not unprecedented, there are many bills that die due to lack of consensus between the House and Senate conferees. I felt that would have been a good outcome because we have several representatives who are willing to sponsor a true Second Amendment Sanctuary bill in 2022.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, Rep. Abbas broke his promise and signed the anti-gun compromise. All of the other House members of the Committee of Conference, also signed the anti-gun compromise for SB 154, Rep. Jason Osborne, Rep. Scott Wallace and Rep. Bob Lynn. The three Senate Conferees, Senator Carson, Senator Bradley and Senator Gary Daniels all signed as well.
SB 154 will now be voted on in both the House and Senate on June 24. That’s where you come in.
WE MUST STOP SB 154 BEFORE IT DAMAGES NEW HAMPSHIRE! A bad bill is worse than no bill at all.
Here is what you can do to help:
SB 154, as amended by the Committee of Conference, will be considered by BOTH the House and the Senate on Thursday, June 24, 2021. We need you to click here and send a pre-written message to your State Senators and State Reps.
Then, after you have done that, follow it up with a phone call urging them to ignore Rep. Abbas and the other House Conferees and vote NO on Amendment 2021-2034-CofC for SB 154.
Click here to locate your legislators.
Time is of the essence, please contact your legislators today and urge them to reject SB 154 as amended by the Committee of Conference.