Sponsors: Sen. Jeb Bradley [R], Sen. James Gray [R], Sen. Ruth Ward [R], Sen. David Starr [R], Rep. Rob Cushing [D], Rep. Tom Buco [D], Rep. Polly Campion [D], Rep. Pattrick Long [D], Rep. Lucy Weber [D], Rep. Paul Berch [D], Rep. Nancy Murphy [D], Rep. Kate Murray [D], Sen. Shannon Chandley [D], Sen. Martha Hennessey [D]
“A year ago, we noticed that the Giffords-drafted “red flag” gun confiscation bill had been gussied up and repackaged as an “elder abuse” bill in the New Hampshire state legislature. At the time, it had lots of explicit gun confiscation.
The Second Amendment movement correctly opposed it as an effort to slip through “red flag” gun confiscation disguised as something else. It was successfully vetoed.
But now, the same bill has been reintroduced by Senate Republicans with the support and encouragement of Governor Sununu. And, although it doesn’t mandate gun confiscation, it allows it in a way that will make gun confiscation virtually inevitable.
Gun Owners of America opposes this new bill, SB 677-FN, in the strongest terms. The bill is a thinly disguised offspring of the Giffords’ organization’s “red flag” paradigm — which is one of two central objectives of national gun control organizations.
Through much of its history, SB 677-FN explicitly confiscated guns. That its objectives are now concealed is certainly not going to fool gun owners — and shouldn’t fool anyone else.
A large number of its features are still remnants of its origin in the offices of a gun control group. Specifically, the bill allows a large category of aggrieved persons and government agencies to obtain an ex parte order stripping a gun owner of his constitutional rights by virtue of unproven allegations contained in a single affidavit.
This can be done by alleging, at its lowest common denominator, that the gun owner has committed “emotional abuse” through “verbal harassment” which “could result in” “emotional distress.” How many families do not experience “emotional abuse” under this definition?
Although section 173-D-5 II lays out some of the relief which the court’s orders may “include,” the list is inclusive, rather than exclusive. And (b)(3) specifically allows whatever court injunction “the court determines is necessary.” Through most of the development of the bill, this has explicitly included gun confiscation, and it is hard to imagine that anyone will forget that this was the drafters’ intention.
The bill provides that a full hearing will be held within 3 business days of the receipt by the clerk of a demand for such a hearing. A few observations:
When my family was faced with such a situation, it took a week to find an attorney and three more weeks for that attorney to get up to speed. By that time, the medical damage done by the state to the senior was irreparable.
The cost of the attorney drained the family’s resources. Once the police have ransacked your house and confiscated your guns, reversing that damage is difficult, if not impossible. In states like New York with statutory deadlines for return of erroneously seized guns, a nine month wait is routine.
Trying to convince a judge that he made a mistake in seizing your guns may not be particularly easy.
In other words, “due process” which occurs only after someone has lost all their constitutional rights is no “due process” at all. This is particularly true because, with SB 677-FN there is neither probable cause nor reasonable cause to believe the defendant has committed any crime or even any particularly bad act.
In sum, this bill is foolishly drafted and dangerous to a broad panoply of constitutional rights. It is an Orwellian compilation of unconstitutionalities — concocted to reach problems covered by preexisting law.
The Senate Judiciary Committee may have an Executive Session to consider SB 677 as early as Tuesday, February 4. Please don’t wait, let your Senator know that you are opposed to gun confiscation.
Please contact the Senate Judiciary Committee and urge them to vote SB 677 inexpedient to legislate. Please be polite but firm as you explain to committee members that New Hampshire has strong laws to protect the elderly, disabled and infirm from physical and financial abuse and exploitation.
Then contact your own state senator to urge him or her to oppose SB 677 when it reaches the full senate. Legislators need to know that we are informed single issue voters and we will not accept one word of gun control and that we see through the disguise of SB 677.”
Interestingly, Senator Jeb Bradley made it clear that he supports red flag laws last session, when he was the Senate majority leader. It should not come as a surprise that he is now sponsoring this disguised red flaw legislation.
If you do not support this bill, make sure to contact the sponsors, your legislators, and Governor Sununu. They need to know that not everyone in New Hampshire is okay with politicians and police circumventing due process.
Governor Sununu has vetoed HB1660.