Gov. John H. Lynch (D)

The New Hampshire House passed a bill Jan. 4 clarifying that guns are allowed in public buildings and college campuses despite Democratic Gov. John H. Lynch’s veto threat.

“College students are not children and they do not surrender their constitutional rights when they step foot on the campus,” said Bradley Jardis, who with Tommy Mozingo challenged the firearms ban at Plymouth State University in a December two-man demonstration.

“Governor Lynch ignores the reality that only law-abiding people have ever abided by the law,” he said.

“How many mass-shooting events do we need to see across the country in ‘gun-free zones’ before powerful politicians like him begin to respect the constitutional rights of all Americans to protect themselves?” he asked.

The governor made a Jan. 3 statement before House voted on the House Bill 334 180 to 144, in the midst of passing two other gun right bills. One bill, allowed guns in vehicles and another changed the requirement for gun owners to have a concealed carry permit. Alaska, Arizona and Vermont have no gun permits, but the Granite State would issue permits for gun owners who need a “permit” to take advantage of permit reciprocity.

“These bills represent a radical departure from our approach to public safety here in New Hampshire,” Lynch said.

“I am proud of the fact that we live in the safest state in the nation. New Hampshire is a place with very little violent crime, a place where families and seniors can feel safe in their homes, their neighborhoods and their communities,” he said.

“We need to be doing all we can to continue to ensure New Hampshire remains the safe state that it currently is,” he said.

Lynch said if HB-334 passed it would allow firearms in state-operated mental care facilities and would deprive private businesses leasing space in public buildings the right to restrict firearms from their premises.

Jardis said he was not impressed with the governor’s concerned.

When Lynch tries to scare students, parents others about guns, he ignores the purpose of firearms held by law-abiding citizens, he said.

“It is unfortunate that Governor Lynch, a former University System of New Hampshire official, continues to mislead about the statutory and constitutional authority that USNH has to prohibit law-abiding individuals to possess firearms,” he said.

It is not enough to ask people to wait for the police, Jardis said.

“They deserve the same rights to defend themselves against violent attack on publicly owned and controlled property as they do when walking down the sidewalk. You cannot count on the police to protect you when seconds count.”