Concord, NH, March 22, 2014
On Thursday, March 20, 2014, the NH Senate Committee on Judiciary passed out of committee SB 244, amended into “AN ACT establishing a procedure for the annulment of a mental health record and establishing a commission to study mental health and firearms.” As introduced, SB 244 would have directed the State of New Hampshire to report the names of any persons adjudicated incompetent or found legally to suffer from some form of mental illness – as well as those for whom a guardian had been appointed – to the FBI’s National Criminal Instant Background Check System (NICS), whether or not they were contemplating or had attempted the purchase of a firearm.
The bill as introduced met with fierce opposition by the mental health community, persons and groups concerned with privacy and, of course, those who believe that in the fundament natural right to defense of oneself, family and property. Based on the last of those points, SAS testified in opposition to the original SB 244.
The version passed on Thursday sought to achieve compromise through: 1) an attempt to create a path for annulment of mental health records at the state level; and, 2) the creation of a commission to “study mental health and firearms.”
While SAS supports creating a path to restoring the 2nd amendment rights by annulling certain mental health records, we remain opposed to any proposal that would conflate the issues of mental illness and firearm ownership.
The Second Amendment Sisters believe that mental illness is a disease, not a crime, and those who would stigmatize the mentally ill in pursuit of a political agenda create a slippery slope from which few would remain unharmed or unsullied.
Honorable Jennifer Coffey
National Director of Legislative Affairs
Second Amendment Sisters, Inc.
SAS Phone: 877-271-6216