House Leadership Condemns HB 536 as an "Unacceptable Risk" for New Hampshire Citizens

CONCORD- House Speaker William O’Brien, House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt and early co-sponsors today condemned a bill that would dramatically remove restrictions on firearms. 

The legislation, HB 536, was filed by freshman Rep. J.R. Hoell, of Hopkinton.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“I am disappointed that I was unable to convince Rep. Hoell to withdraw this poorly conceived bill that truly represents bad policy.  While I am a strong advocate for the state and federal constitutional right to own and carry firearms, including the right of constitutional carry, this legislation vastly exceeds any reasonable standard of an individual’s right to bear arms.  This bill would make New Hampshire less safe and it would create an unacceptable risk for our citizens.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“After carefully reviewing House Bill 536, House leadership has made clear that we will oppose this bill that could undermine public safety in New Hampshire.  Instead, leadership will support House Bill 330, a responsible ‘constitutional carry’ legislation that falls within the New Hampshire tradition of protecting the 2nd Amendment and Article 2-a of the state Constitution.  Accordingly, we will recommend that the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety find HB 536 inexpedient to legislate.”

Rep. Steven Cunningham, an early co-sponsor

“This legislation dramatically oversteps the intent of ensuring the right to carry firearms in New Hampshire.  After looking at the final bill and considering the consequences of this legislation, I can no longer support it.  There are other bills that better protect the rights of lawful gun owners, and I will support them.”

Rep. John Burt, another co-sponsor

“Unfortunately, this bill has some serious unintended consequences. I look forward to working with Rep. Coffey to promote a responsible constitutional carry bill in House Bill 330.”