The last day of the House legislative session was just days after 19 children and two teachers were gunned down in Ulvalde, Texas. State Rep. Debra Atlschiller, a Democrat from Stratham, began a moving tribute to the American victims of gun violence and to first responders and law enforcement officials who responded.

As it became clear that Rep. Altschiller was making a plea for common-sense gun safety, Republicans in the room began to boo, and then asked for a vote to terminate her speech. She was permitted to finish speaking. Immediately afterwards, Republican Rep. Terry Roy of Deerfield made the comment that “we should not let a good tragedy go to waste,” mocking the statements that had been made by Atlschiller. The statement was jaw-droppingly inappropriate and cruel.

This episode epitomizes the Legislature’s failed efforts to enact commonsense gun safety.

As a grandmother of two young children, I could not look at the photos of those killed in the attack in Texas, nor could I look at photos or newscasts of the parents who lost their children. The pain is simply too unimaginable. However, we all need to look at those photos and ask why New Hampshire cannot pass laws designed to protect the lives of citizens that do not infringe upon the second amendment constitutional rights of gun ownership among responsible individuals.

I believe in our bipartisan system of government and in working in solidarity with members of both parties. However, it is important as voters for you to know who was responsible for this lack of concern with gun safety.

These are the bills filed this term:

• 2022: HB 1178, passed by a Republican majority, prohibits the state from enforcing any federal regulations on guns and from receiving help from ATF, DOJ and FBI in the wake of the Uvalde tragedy — on Gov. Chris Sununu’s desk.

• 2022: HB 1636, passed by a Republican majority, allows loaded carry of firearms on snowmobiles/OHRV — on the governor’s desk.

• 2021: SB 141, passed by a Republican majority, is a bill gutting the state’s background check system and thus puts domestic violence victims at increased risk — vetoed by the governor.

• 2021: HB 195, filed by Republican Rep. Michael Yakubovich of Merrimack, made firearm brandishing an exception to the reckless conduct statute — signed into the law by the governor.

• 2021: HB 334, filed by Republican Rep. John Burt, would’ve allowed loaded firearms on snowmobiles/OHRV and completely gut the state’s background check system putting domestic violence victims at increased risk — vetoed by the governor.

These were the bills that were brought forth by my fellow Democrats:

• 2022: HB 1668 filed by the late Rep. Kathi Rogers, to close the background check loopholes online, at gun shows, at flea markets and private sales — blocked by House Republicans.

• 2022: HB 1151 filed by Rep. David Meuse of Portsmouth to prohibit the display of a deadly weapon at a parade, funeral procession, picket line, march, rally, vigil or demonstration — blocked by House Republicans.

• 2022 HB 1096: filed by Rep. Meuse, to prohibit guns at polling places (often schools) — blocked by House Republicans.

Wishes for thoughts and prayers ring hollow. They will not protect our children, grandchildren, and the citizens of our communities.

Can we please vote for candidates who support both the Second Amendment’s constitutional right to bear arms and do so safely and responsibly? The filing period for elected officials in our state is now underway. I would urge voters to carefully review any incumbent’s voting record as it relates to gun safety, and to demand that candidates new to the public arena tell you exactly where they stand.

I will continue to support legislation that will keep weapons out of the hands of convicted criminals of dangerous crimes and those with significant mental illness. Our constitutional liberties never intended for firearms to be utilized for unlawful purposes, particularly in violation of the freedoms and liberties of others.

Anita Burroughs is a state representative for the towns of Jackson, Bartlett and Hart’s Location.

(3) comments

NHCOOS

I do agree with some of this, but I still see a reluctance to address the more serious issue which also plagued Newtown, treatment for the mentally ill. The mother of Adam Lanza begged to get help for her son only to be turned away by the liberal thinking establishment. She wound up dead along with a number of innocent children. A gun alone does not kill, it requires someone behind it so whether a good citizen can open carry on an ATV is irrelevant.

Dansea4

Really? If she thought her son was. Entry impaired, why did she take him to the firing range to practice? And why did she buy him a gun in the first place! I believe that is what led to his father leaving!

DavefromConway

Ask anyone who supports 'common sense gun control' why they aren't demanding the seizing of handguns vs. long guns. Handguns are used in 90% of all 'mass' shootings. There is no common sense.

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