N.H. Reps Ban Guns from State House
CONCORD, N.H.--A mix of pro-gun activists and Republican legislators are protesting a new rule that bans weapons from the State House, according to a report in the Concord Monitor newspaper.
"My reaction is outrage," said Rep. Daniel Itse, a Fremont Republican. "It's a serious restriction on a constitutional right."
On Monday, the legislative facilities subcommittee, which includes House and Senate leadership, voted 8-3 to ban individuals from carrying firearms or other deadly weapons into the State House, the Legislative Office Building, the Upham Walker House or any of the underground tunnels connecting the buildings. Only law enforcement will be allowed to carry guns into the building. The ban applies to both open and concealed weapons.
The vote fell along party lines, with Democrats supporting the ban and Republicans opposing it.
Sen. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat who supported the bill, said the ban was reinstituted after several lawmakers said they felt threatened during a vote last March relating to states' rights, when about 15 armed individuals "shouted threats at members of the House from the gallery," Hassan said.
Hassan said the ban carries no civil or criminal penalties. "It's the reinstituting of a policy we had for a decade. It seemed to us not something that needed a great deal of review," Hassan said.
But Senate Minority Leader Peter Bragdon, who voted against the ban, said people work at the State House late at night, and sometimes have to walk through an alley to the Storrs Street garage. "Representatives have been threatened going back and forth," Bragdon said. "People need to be able to protect themselves."Read the complete story here.
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