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Joyce Endee

North Country Reps against guns on campus

January 11, 2012
CONCORD Legislators from the rural, Republican dominated North Country were at odds with their more urban colleagues last week when they vote by a margin of 9-5 against a controversial bill that would have loosened restrictions on guns by prohibiting public colleges and universities, as well as any group, organization or business that uses public lands or publicly owned building,s from banning firearms.

Only five State Representatives -- Duffy Daugherty and Laurence Rappaport, both of Colebrook, and Edmond Gionet, of Lincoln, Gregory Sorg, of Easton; and Paul Ingbretson, of Pike-- supported the bill, which passed by a vote of 180-144.

Nine Legislators voted against it including: William Hatch, of Gorham; Yvonne Thomas and Marc Tremblay, both of Berlin; Evalyn Merrick and William Remick, of Lancaster; John Tholl, of Whitefield; Rusty Bulis, of Littleton; Kathleen Taylor, of Franconia and Rick Ladd, of Haverhill.

Gary Coulombe and Robert Theberge, both of Berlin, and Herbert Richardson, of Lancaster and Stephanie Eaton, of Littleton did not vote.

The state's public universities and colleges opposed the bill.

"Our greatest concern comes if there is an emergency," said Kathy Eneguess, President of White Mountains Community College, "First responders and our administration would not be able to quickly assess the situation as to who was armed or how many. Our goal is to have a safe learning environment. This would also escalate any difficult situation between students, faculty or our staff."

If the bill passes the Senate, Governor John Lynch promised to veto it.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
Garnett HIll
Varney Smith
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