Op-ed blatantly misrepresents NH gun rights bill

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There have been a number of gun rights bills in various states that essentially copy the Missouri law stating that state and local agencies cannot enforce federal gun control laws. One such state considering such a measure is New Hampshire.

Now, I don’t think it’ll pass up that way–they’ve had too many people move in from Massachusetts, most likely–but it’s a bill to be considered and discussed. And I could be completely wrong since it did pass the House up that way.

That’s fine. I value discussion and think there are plenty of arguments people can make against the bill.

However, a recent op-ed blatantly…let’s just be generous and say it mispresents what the bill says.

On Friday, May 6, 2022, the state legislature of New England’s Texas, also known as New Hampshire, voted to pass the HB1178 bill, which makes it illegal for anyone to enforce any federal gun laws. No seriously this is what it says:

This bill prohibits the state of New Hampshire, a political subdivision of this state, or any person acting under the color of state, county, or municipal law from using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer, or cooperate with any law, act, rule, order, or regulation of the United States Government or Executive Order of the President of the United States that is inconsistent with any law of this state regarding the regulation of firearms, ammunition, magazines or the ammunition feeding devices, firearm components, firearms supplies, or knives.

The bill also makes it clear that state, county, or local officials are still allowed to cooperate with a law enforcement agency that’s investigating a violation of federal gun laws, provided that the person of interest has also violated some other New Hampshire laws.

I don’t know how enforceable this legalized non-enforcement will actually be, but I suspect it’s going to turn into one helluva legal precedent. It might just also turn Hampton Beach (the only part of the state that’s not landlocked) into an even more wretched hive of scum and villainy, if, say, it were to become a hub of international arms trafficking to circumvent other US federal regulations. But hey, you can play some skeeball on the boardwalk and buy a bazooka in one quick trip! How convenient!

Ah, yes, a town in New Hampshire becomes a hotbed of international arms trafficking that the authorities are forbidden to prevent…except the ATF can still enforce plenty of gun laws in the state if this passes. You’d have to imagine if part of New Hampshire were becoming a gun trafficking hub, they’d kind of take an interest in it.

But the writer doesn’t really want you to think about that sort of thing. He’d rather offer up scary tales that frighten others into opposing such a law.

Now, understand that I’m not the biggest fan of these laws. I want to see what happens with the Missouri law in the courts first and foremost, then have states learn from those findings to better craft their own versions.

What I don’t support is hysteria masquerading as arguments against these sorts of laws.

If you can come up with a valid argument, great. I probably will disagree with it, but I can respect a good-faith argument from the other side of the aisle on an issue like gun rights and gun control.

Not that I’ve really seen many of them, mind you, but I can still respect them.

That’s not remotely what this is. This is fearmongering in policy-discussion drag hoping you don’t notice it. It’s a fantasy concocted not out of genuine concern but out of a profound desire to mislead people into thinking something like that could really happen.