top of page

Press Releases & News

This week, House Democrats have filed several pieces of legislation to reduce gun violence in the Granite State. House Democratic Leader Rep. David Cote (D-Nashua) applauded the filings, saying:

“While House Democrats have been championing gun violence prevention policies for years, it is more urgent now than ever to push these over the finish line as gun deaths in NH have risen almost 40% under Republican leadership since 2011. It is critical that we undo the dangerous policies enacted by an extreme Republican majority and work to make gun safety a priority across the state. I am proud of this package of bills that will do just that.”

  • Rep. Paul Berch (D-Westmoreland) sponsor of an LSR titled “Making Our Communities Safe Act,” which repeals HB 1178, an extreme law enacted by Governor Sununu this year prohibiting NH law enforcement from cooperating with federal agencies and laws regarding firearms, commented:

“At the request of state and local law enforcement, school students, teachers and administrators, victims of domestic violence and citizens across the State, I have filed a bill to repeal HB 1178, an ill-conceived, poorly crafted, and confusing law that hampers New Hampshire police officers and makes our citizens less safe. Even noting that guidance from the Attorney General finally arrived last week, months after the bill’s enactment, major confusion and grey areas remain for law enforcement as to what constitutes the “enforcement” of federal firearms laws.”

  • Rep. Amy Bradley (D-Manchester) sponsor of an LSR which establishes a procedure to protect against persons who pose an immediate risk of harm to themselves or others, commented:

“Tragically in recent years death by suicide with a firearm in New Hampshire has increased 60% compared to a 12% increase nationwide. It is critical that we provide a means to protect people in crisis from harming themselves with the most lethal means imaginable, a firearm.”

  • Rep. Marjorie Smith (D-Durham) sponsor of an LSR which closes loopholes in the firearm background check law to prevent criminals and abusers from purchasing guns, stated:

“Right now, in New Hampshire, convicted domestic abusers and violent criminals can purchase a gun online, at flea markets, in private sales and at gun shows without any restrictions. An overwhelming number of New Hampshire citizens, including gun owners, favor responsible gun purchasing and use. It is so far past time that we ensure guns only enter the hands of responsible users and I’m happy to pick up the torch where the fearless Rep. Kathi Rogers left off in championing this issue.”

  • Rep. Chuck Grassie (D-Rochester), sponsor of an LSR which implements a 3-day waiting period between the purchase and delivery of a firearm, commented:

“Suicide affects more and more Granite State families every year, now the second leading cause of death among young people in our state. Experts from the NH Medical Society and National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI-NH) have for years testified to how valuable waiting periods can be in preventing people contemplating suicide or other violent impulsivities from following through with the act.”

  • Rep. Steve Shurtleff (D-Penacook), sponsor of an LSR which codifies the Federal Gun Free School Zones act in New Hampshire, commented:

“The rates of increasing gun violence in our schools across the country is disturbing, made even more so by laws like HB 1178 which prevent NH law enforcement from cooperating with federal gun safety protections if they are not codified in NH statute. Prohibiting guns on school grounds, except those in the possession of authorized individuals, allows law enforcement to better identify when entering a school with a firearm constitutes a threat and act accordingly. We cannot wait until a tragedy occurs to make our schools as safe as they can be.”

  • Rep. David Meuse (D-Portsmouth), sponsor of an LSR titled the “Protect the Kids Act” which establishes new requirements for safe firearms storage and transfers to protect child safety as well as toughen our state’s negligent firearms storage law, commented:

“Requiring responsible firearm storage practices saves lives and protects our children and other innocent people from unintentional harm. Nationally 90% of shootings by kids are a result of access to unlocked firearms stored at home, an easily preventable statistic. It is time that New Hampshire, a state with many gun owners, take action to promote safe firearm storage and ensure greater consequences for negligence.”

  • Rep. Dick Ames (D-Jaffrey), sponsor of an LSR asking Congress to pass an Assault Weapons Ban, commented:

“President Biden has made a commitment to reinstate the Assault Weapons ban passed in 1994 to decrease the shocking rate of mass gun violence with semi-automatic weapons. The US House passed such a renewed ban on July 29, 2022, but the bill is now stuck in the US Senate.

For too many years, America has been plagued with mass shootings in our schools, grocery stores, churches, and at concerts, almost all of which have been carried out with semi-automatic weapons capable of causing mass casualty in a mere matter of minutes. These are weapons of war. They must be kept off our streets. Their gruesome contribution to the epidemic of gun violence sweeping across America must be stopped. This resolution urges members of Congress to work together to reenact a common-sense ban on assault weapons to protect American safety.”

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – On Wednesday evening, House Democratic Leader David Cote sent correspondence to the NH Attorney General (attached) asking that guidance be promptly released on HB 1178, enacted in June. Following the letter, the Attorney General’s office released interim guidance to county sheriffs and police. In response to the release of this interim guidance, House Democratic Leader Rep. David Cote (D-Nashua) released the following statement:

“The Attorney General’s interim guidance lacks the clarity law enforcement and educators need and obscures the real danger of HB 1178. The guidance reads: “Local and state law enforcement officers are empowered to respond to, investigate, and take action with respect to any potential threat to schools pursuant to their authority under the New Hampshire Criminal Code. The passage of HB 1178 does not alter this.”

The fact is, the New Hampshire Criminal code permits anyone other than students to carry firearms on campuses and permits people to legally brandish weapons, a dangerous change Gov. Sununu signed into law just last year. We do not have a state law prohibiting the carrying of firearms on school campuses, but before HB 1178 law enforcement officers were able to respond to emergencies under the federal Gun Free Schools Zone Act with the assistance of federal agencies. With the passage of HB 1178, if law enforcement is required to stand down until a New Hampshire law has been violated, it could be too late. The Attorney General needs to make it clear at which point state and local police and school officials can act and when they must stand down as prescribed by HB 1178. There can be no gray area for the safety of our communities and schools or for our frontline emergency response.”

7_13_22 Correspondence
Download PDF • 153KB

CONCORD, NH- Today, during a House Democratic Caucus meeting, House Democratic Leader Renny Cushing (D-Hampton) announced through a letter read by his daughter Marie, a temporary medical leave of absence as he continues his battle with stage four prostate cancer. In his announcement, Rep. Cushing informed the Democratic Caucus that Deputy Democratic Leader David Cote (D-Nashua) will assume Democratic Leader duties. Representative Mary Jane Wallner (D-Concord) will step in as the caucus’ Deputy Democratic Leader. The remainder of the established leadership team will remain unchanged.

Following today’s announcement, House Democratic Leader Renny Cushing (D-Hampton) releases the following statement:

“With great reluctance, I am following the advice of my doctors and will be taking a medical leave of absence from the position of House Democratic Leader. I have fought my entire life for the people of New Hampshire and served in the legislature for more than 30 years - but for now, I need to focus on another fight. During my leave of absence, Deputy Leader David Cote will assume the duties of Democratic Leader, and longtime legislative leader Representative Mary Jane Wallner will step in as the Deputy Democratic Leader.

“I want to thank David, Mary Jane, and the whole leadership team that has and will continue to serve our caucus fearlessly. The many successes we have had this term would have been impossible without their dedication day in and day out. And thank you to every member of the Democratic caucus that has shown tremendous leadership in encouraging each other and fighting for Democratic values during one of the most difficult legislative terms to date.

“All Granite Staters should know one thing-- House Democrats will continue our unwavering resolve for you against radical Republican extremism in Concord.”


bottom of page