AP Photo/Steven Senne

A gun control rally turned into a gun control debate on Monday at the state capitol in New Hampshire, where anti-gun activists rallied to urge Governor Chris Sununu to sign three pieces of gun control legislation that would ban most gun owners from lawfully carrying a firearm in a school, impose a three-day waiting period on firearm purchases, and require “universal background checks” on private firearm transfers.

At first, the gun control rally was a one-sided affair, until a shotgun-toting activist named Brennan Robinson showed up with a pal in an “Institute of Cryptoanarchy” t-shirt.

The event turned more combative after some gun control advocates became angry and loudly scolded reporters for interviewing a conservative gun owner advocate, Brennan Robinson of Webster, who carried a 12-gauge shotgun and showed it off in the back of the room.

‘I find it abhorrent that every time there is a mass murder these people are here trying to turn it into a political tool to take our rights away,’ said Robinson stretching out a ‘Live Free or Die’ flag with the New Hampshire seal on it. He stood next to a sign that read ‘Arm the poor, homeless, disenfranchised, blacks, latinos and marginalized.’

‘I want everyone to have a gun,” Robinson summed up.

Meanwhile, the gun control activists focused most of their attention on Sununu, with several lawmakers demanding the governor allow the bills to become law, even without his signature.

Senate President Donna Soucy, D-Manchester, was the last signature penned to the bills that were sent to Sununu.

‘We have the ability, right now, to take action in New Hampshire to help prevent gun violence. Why in the world would we possibly wait any longer?’ Soucy asked in a statement.

‘I implore Governor Sununu to join the House, the Senate, and the people of New Hampshire in supporting these commonsense gun violence prevention efforts. At the very least, we ask today that he put politics aside and let these bills become law without his signature. Enough is enough.’

Governor Sununu himself issued a statement that didn’t indicate any support for the three gun control measures. Instead, the governor spoke about the challenges the state faces, and the work that has already been done to address concerns over mental health and violent crime.

‘Like the entire nation, I was horrified by the senseless acts of hate and violence this past weekend. What we must say unequivocally is that hate, white supremacy, and acts of domestic terror have no place in New Hampshire or anywhere in this country. While we will never know all the things that lead a person to commit acts of evil, we must be mindful that the mental health crisis gripping our state and nation is a significant factor,’ Sununu said.

‘Here in New Hampshire, we have taken multiple steps to address our mental health needs and to build a more welcoming and tolerant state. From the school safety task force, to rebuilding our state’s mental health system, including the largest investment of resources in decades, to establishing the Governor’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion, and to establishing the state’s first Civil Rights Unit to step up prosecution of hate crimes, we are taking major steps to ensure the safety of our citizens is paramount.’

With a Democrat-controlled legislature, these bills are sure to be re-introduced along with dozens more in the next legislative session, but so far it looks like Governor Sununu is holding strong in the Live Free or Die state. If you’re a New Hampshire gun owner, I hope you’ve contacted his office to offer your encouragement.