The NH State House is now a gun free zone. In 2011, the Tea Party-controlled House voted to allow guns in the State House and the nearby Legislative Office Building. Today, the new leadership voted to re-impose the gun ban.
There was a backlash this last election in NH and the Democrats have taken back the State House. Republicans retained control of the Senate, but lost six seats. Most importantly, Speaker of the House, William O'Brien (known as Bully O'Brien by the locals), will no longer be Speaker and was assigned an aisle seat in the last row of the chamber. Our new speaker, Terie Norelli brought the gun ban legislation up for a vote on the first day of business. The vote was 196-153, largely along party lines with the Democrats supporting it.
Republicans gave the usual excuses for wanting to carry arms. I found the statement by Rep. Jeanine Notter, R-Merrimack, especially paranoid. Because she is a woman and weaker than the opposite sex, she needs a gun in case of conflict. She said women lawmakers who lack the physical strength of male counterparts are more at risk with a gun ban. Her quote leaves one wondering who the "nut job" really is.
“If I can carry a concealed gun, no one has to know. It stays hidden but is within reach if some nut job tries to harm me."Rep. Lenette Peterson, R-Merrimack, stated
“By removing handguns from the State House, you will create a gun rich target much as was done at the elementary school in Newtown, Conn.”The Democrats, on the other hand, spoke in favor of the ban. House Majority Leader Steve Shurtleff said,
“I support the rights of gun owners in this state. I support the Second Amendment and I support the ban on guns in this House chamber.”Saner heads prevailed. I look forward to more legislation from this session that will undo the harm the previous session did.