House Wants Federal Background Checks But Not Federal Gun Restrictions

House Wants Federal Background Checks But Not Federal Gun Restrictions

House Speaker Sherman Packard, R-Londonderry, is pictured with House Clerk Paul Smith Thursday at the House session at the NH Sportsplex in Bedford. By GARRY RAYNO, InDepthNH CONCORD — The House decided Thursday that state and local police should not enforce federal laws, regulations or presidential executive orders on firearms if there is not a corresponding state law. The House also decided to eliminate the state gun line background check for handgun purchases and replace it with the Federal Bureau of Investigation database system that is used for rifle and shotgun purchases. The House voted 199-177 to approve Senate Bill 154, which would prohibit police from enforcing federal actions restricting or regulating guns. The House met at the NH Sportsplex in Bedford. Bill opponents said it would ensnare the state in costly constitutional litigation, harm cooperation between federal and local law enforcement, encourage criminal trafficking in illicit firearms and jeopardize public safety. The bill has less to do with guns and more to do with the state’s image, said Rep. David Meuse, D-Portsmouth, asking if the state wants to be known for its thriving economy and scenic landscapes or gun running and as the ghost gun capital of the United States. “Our laws should be about tying the hands of criminals,” Meuse said, “and not tying the hands of law enforcement.” But bill supporters said the state has no obligation to enforce restrictive gun laws, regulations or presidential executive orders from the federal government, noting the U.S. Supreme Court […]

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