MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE – This morning the House of Representatives voted 212-138 to sustain the governor’s veto of HB 334, a bill that would allow open-carrying of firearms on OHRV’s and dismantle the state police’s firearm background check system. Following the vote, Rep. David Meuse (D-Portsmouth) released the following statement:
“House Republicans continuously support a bill that is not only unnecessary and potentially dangerous—it is also an unfunded mandate for New Hampshire counties that endangers members of the public who deserve our protection.
For many years, our State Police Gunline has been the point of contact for handgun background checks in New Hampshire. State records not included in the federal system are lists of offenders subject to after-hours domestic violence restraining orders, criminal bail protective orders, and child protection orders. Once again, these records are not part of the federal database. This means that if the State Police role in handgun background checks goes away, people subject to certain protective and restraining orders would be able to purchase a firearm.
In a state where 40-50% of all homicides are related to domestic violence, the State Police role in background checks is a critical tool in reducing the risk of a firearm being inadvertently sold to someone legally prohibited from buying one. I am pleased that House Democrats were able to protect victims of domestic violence and all our communities from the hazard of this Republican legislation.”