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Bill to allow firing guns in public places fails in Senate

"Natural carry" bill doing away with gun permits also tabled

by Thomas Beeler
Editor of The Granite State News
May 10, 2012
WOLFEBORO — Selectman Chair Linda Murray announced at the board's May 2 meeting that HB 1341, a bill passed by the N.H. House that would have allowed firearms to be discharged in parks and public spaces, was "referred to study" on April 26 by the N.H. Senate. Wolfeboro selectmen had signed a letter to Sen. Jeb Bradley on April 18, written by Wolfeboro Parks and Recreation Director Ethan Hipple, protesting the bill and asking Bradley to vote against it.

Murray said she had had two conversations with Bradley about the bill, the second being his report that the bill was sent to study.

Contacted after the selectmen's meeting, Bradley stated, "The Senate Judiciary Committee recommends Interim Study for HB 1341, a recommendation which I will support when the bill is voted on by the full Senate on May 9. I agree with those who believe discharge of guns in the 'compact' or more crowded sections of cities and towns could lead to dangerous situations."

Bradley also commented on the Senate vote on HB 536, called the "natural carry" bill. Also passed by the House, that bill "provides that the license to carry and pistol or revolver shall be optional and that the availability of such license shall not prohibit the unlicensed transport or carrying of a firearm in a vehicle or on or about one's person, whether openly or concealed, loaded or unloaded, by a resident, nonresident, or alien…" The Senate voted on May 2 to table it.

"I worked to find a compromise on HB 536 that the New Hampshire Police Chiefs could support," Bradley wrote, "and the Senate Judiciary Committee amendment was part of that effort. When the bill moved from the Judiciary Committee to the full Senate, the Police Chiefs indicated they could not support the amended language. Out of respect for the recent death in the line of duty of Greenland Chief Michael Maloney and the wounding of five other police officers, the majority of the Senate including myself voted to table further discussion of HB 536."

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