New Hampshire signs sanctuary state bill

(AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File)

We haven’t heard much about the sanctuary state/county movement in a while. It’s likely most of the states interested in such a move have already made it. A handful of others have considered it, there doesn’t seem to have been much action as of late.

Then again, we’ve had a new federal gun control law go on the books and a Supreme Court decision come down, so we’ve been a little distracted.

However, it seems lawmakers in New Hampshire weren’t.

New Hampshire law enforcement officials will be barred from enforcing federal firearms statutes and rules under a bill signed into law by Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, which comes in response to concerns about tightening gun control laws.

The new law, which comes as a victory for gun rights groups, prohibits state and municipal workers from “using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer, or cooperate with any law, act, rule, order, or regulation” on firearms enacted by the federal government.

“New Hampshire has a proud tradition of responsible firearms stewardship, and I’ve long said that I’m not looking to make any changes to our laws,” Sununu said in a statement. “This bill will ensure that New Hampshire’s law enforcement efforts will be on our own state firearms laws – and that’s where I believe their focus should be.”

The new law doesn’t prohibit federal authorities from conducting investigations in the state and making arrests related to firearms law. It also includes exemptions allowing state and local law enforcement to cooperate with federal authorities if there is “reasonable suspicion” that a suspect had violated state laws

This seems to be a bit less cumbersome for law enforcement when compared to Missouri’s law, but still includes some significant language regarding federal gun control.

And this passage comes just days after Biden signed a new gun control bill into law.

Honestly, I can’t imagine the timing is pure coincidence. I may be wrong, but this really feels like a hoisted middle finger to the administration, and I’m here for it.

Yes, I’ve argued before that I think states should hold off to see how Missouri’s does in court challenges, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like seeing laws such as this pass. Missouri should be fine and New Hampshire should too. Sanctuary states shouldn’t have any issue at all, really, and I find the anti-gunners’ position to be a bit hypocritical since so many of them support immigration sanctuary states/counties/cities.

Either way, this bill has been passed and signed into law. That means the feds can’t walk in and expect local officials to assist them on anything that doesn’t also violate state law.

It doesn’t stop the laws from being enforced by the ATF or other federal agencies, but it does put a bit of a cramp in their manpower to do so.

What that means for the average law-abiding gun owner or gun dealer is that they’re less likely to get jammed up over a mistake. That’s a very good thing if you ask me.