On Tuesday, August 10th, Dictator Sununu vetoed two pro-gun bills passed by the Republican legislature. Though he is considered one of the most progressive Republicans in the united states, Sununu has never done much to violate gun rights. He has long known that New Hampshire citizens are the most pro-gun individuals on Earth and that infringing on their natural right to bear arms would be a catastrophic mistake. Sununu has been moving towards the left for the past few months as he prepares for a likely US Senate run in 2022. He also began using some leftist anti-gun rhetoric a few months ago when a peaceful anti-corona-fascism protestor was open carrying “a pistol with two dozen rounds”, which is quite normal in the Live Free or Die State.
Senate Bill 141 was initially a controversial bill among libertarians and conservatives. The bill sought to abolish the state gun purchasing background check line which was redundant and caused unnecessary delays for NH citizens seeking to buy a firearm. The FBI had a list of prohibited persons, but the state police ran the check and replied to the gun store with the result. It should be mentioned that the horrible delays in the state-run background checks have since been resolved, largely thanks to Executive Councilor Dave Wheeler, who has been a fierce gun-rights advocate in New Hampshire for years. Despite passing the Republican Senate and Republican House, Sununu vetoed the bill, claiming that it would give the federal government control over background checks. The federal government already has that control; this bill would just eliminate the middleman.
House Bill 334 sought to eliminate the vestigial prohibition on carrying a firearm on an ATV or snowmobile without a permit. The state abolished the requirement for a permit to carry all types of firearms in 2017, but due to complicated fish & game laws, the bill did not apply to offroad vehicles. To be fair, this bill was amended to include the same language as SB141, which would abolish the redundant background check gun line. Sununu claimed that he vetoed the bill for that reason.
Neither bill had a veto-proof majority, so the legislature is unlikely to override the Dictator’s veto.
Some activists are relatively pessimistic about Sununu’s fidelity to gun rights and believe that he may move even further to the left during the 2022 session.