Myth Blaster: New Hampshire State Legislators Ban Firearms in State Government Buildings

CJ, Wisconsin sent this bit of news concerning banning of firearms in government buildings in New Hampshire …

This just in from Gun Owners of N.H.


AS far as I can tell, they voted this in the middle of a snow storm on a Sunday?????

They have BANNED GUNS in the statehouse! The Joint Committee on Legislative Facilities, the committee that typically decides on what color to paint the halls, repair the roof, amount of salaries and other housekeeping matters have decided to TAKE AWAY your second amendment rights!! No notice, no opportunity to be heard, nothing! GO-NH has friends everywhere (and thank goodness to a Republican friend for this scoop minutes after the vote, he called the GO-PHONE to report this travesty of justice). I saw this the very same hour that I joined USCCA (United States Concealed Carry Association)

Myth Blaster Verdict – Multiple
First, the legislative facilities subcommittee of the House and Senate of New Hampshire voted 8-3 ban of individuals 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.
The ban applies to both open and concealed weapons.
The decision occurred after a particular incident when citizens in the gallery shouted threats at members of the House.

However, Senate Minority Leader Peter Bragdon, who voted against the ban stated:

There was no transparency or openness. It wasn’t on the agenda, It came out of the blue with no chance for any members of the public or Legislature to express their opinions.

Apparently for some that is more of a transgression than the concept of a firearm ban in a government building.
In the state of Georgia, citizens who pass a background check and obtain a permit may carry a concealed weapon except at public sporting events (stadiums), places that serve alcohol and government buildings. No one seemed concerned or upset by that regulation. When conducting business in a government building in Georgia (where metal detectors are used in the courthouse), citizens with permits to carry concealed weapons may either lock their firearms in their vehicle or use the small lockers available to place their firearm and retrieve it upon leaving.
I have no qualms about this procedure. As attested in an incident in New Hampshire, angered citizens could deem a real threat to persons within, say, a legislation assembly. What would the purpose or the need be to carry a firearm in a government building? Courthouse officers are armed to protect people conducting business within the building and the Bailiff is usually armed to protect those in the courtroom.  It is common sense.
But Mr. Bragdon stated that people who work at the State House late at night must sometimes walk through an alley to the Storrs Street garage to get in their vehicle and –

Representatives have been threatened going back and forth. People need to be able to protect themselves.

The solution is simple and common sense. Employees who work in government buildings and chose to be armed, concealed or not can drop off their firearms and lock them into a locker system placed in the foyer/entrance of the building and retrieve it before leaving the building to go home.
The Second Amendment guarantees that citizens have a right to keep and bear arms; however, common sense is just as important as being responsible with firearms. The New Hampshire state legislator is not seeking to ban firearms or transgress against the Second Amendment, but the body has the right to keep firearms out of those buildings to prevent potentially dangerous situations. It is like the Old West towns whose sheriff insisted that cowboys intending to have a good time in their town drop off their firearms at the sheriff office and when leaving town pick them up. Those town laws were established because too often cowboys in their zeal for letting loose after a long period of working in cattle drives and receiving their monthly pay for those who worked the ranches, would enter the town raising hell and shooting off their pistols, as well as getting in gunfights within the saloons after consuming alcoholic beverages. It is the same principle here applied within state government buildings.
The gist of the email, except for mention of the snowstorm is factual.

2 comments on “Myth Blaster: New Hampshire State Legislators Ban Firearms in State Government Buildings

  1. Anonymous says:

    Forget it.. we'll still carry no matter what. This is the 2nd and it's unconsitutional to try to change it. It's worked well for years and will continue to work well.

  2. Anonymous …First, I never understood why anyone would declare anomonity when addressing an issue in commentary such as this – but it is a free country, or supposed to be.Like the article pointed out, the legislation that provides a clause in the state's firearm law, of which the state of New Hampshire is considered No. 1 in terms of overall freedom, is not against the 2nd Amendment and it is a legislation that makes common sense.I understand sensitivity of American citizens now with all of the sociocrat legislators trying to slowly legislate away the 2nd Amendment and states of the Union still countering against the 2nd Amendment to be guaranteed to ALL citizens of every state of the Union – but let us use common sense.The big question is: Why is it necessary when conducting business in a government building to be armed? Going to the building and from is not a problem. Most level-headed citizens would agree as to why the legislators would feel more comfortable in their workplace.Another thing: Our Bill of Rights and Constitution is made up of freedoms and liberties that are supposed to be universal; however, there is no guarantee when one person's rights overrules the rights of another. I mention this because a private enterprise or business, say a restaurant has the right to post a sign stating that firearms are not allowed. On the other hand, the government doesn't have the right to tell a private business that their establishment must be smoke free – tobacco being a legal product. Normally, the proprietor will separate his establishment with smoking or non-smoking. If customers don't like the owner's personal request – they can go elsewhere because their are business owners who prefer no smoking within their privately owned place. Common sense should be the prime factor in what legislators decide, and especially officers of the court, the judiciary and justices. The New Hampshire legislators are not against the 2nd Amendment, they just don't want to go to work with the fear that some angered/crazed citizen isn't going to open fire on them during a heated discussion. It is not a private building, to be sure, but the restriction is only in that particular building.Common sense also tells us that firearms and alcohol do not mix; therefore a restriction of firearms present in an establishment that serves alcohol should not be considered unconstitutional. The person who normally carries a firearm can lock it up in their vehicle when entering an establishment serving alcoholic beverages. Their 2nd Amendment rights remain. Do you feel that it is a wrongful law against driving under the influence?Common sense and your frustration of people trying to take away 2nd Amendment rights are interfering with your sense of responsibility and reasoning.It is a bad attitude in a time that people are working fervently to get all states of the Union on the same page of the 2nd Amendment, and the federal government to back off.Tyrants in government fear an armed populace, not a constitutional republic.Thanks for the comment, but you need to reflect on this discussion.

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