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Feb 16, 2016 4:16 PM

Landrigan: NH gun bills going in opposite directions, likely headed to same place


CONCORD - New Hampshire lawmakers taking up gun bills at both ends [-] one to close a sales loophole, the other to permit open carry in a car.

NH1 News tells you why in an election year probably both are ultimately doomed to fail.

Cops and gun control advocates try to crack down on straw sales; people who buy guns to give to those who can’t buy their own.

"There is a clear gap in the law and this is a way to improve it,’’ said Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress.

Gun swaps are common along the Interstate and are then brought back to Massachusetts and used in crimes, one prosecutor said.

"They bring the drugs up here; they trade the guns for firearms, they bring them back,’’ said Elizabeth Woodcock, assistant attorney general.

"It’s no secret that this happens, it’s something that New Hampshire law enforcement is very aware of.’’

Gun owner experts say the bill is a back door bid to ban sales.

"What it wants to do is basically outlaw, prohibit the private sale and transfer of handguns,’’ said Penny Dean, a lawyer and gun rights law expert.

"That’s what this bill will do as a private matter. It is really, really insidious.’’

Meanwhile it’s legal to openly carry a gun but not in a car and a lawmaker speaks to the length a gun owner has to go.

"The first thing I do when I get to the WalMart parking lot is I step out of my vehicle, whip out my revolver, flip open the chamber, shove some bullets into it, slam it close and shove it into my holster and walk into Wal-Mart,’’ said State Rep. James Spillane, R-Deerfield.

"That’s a little more disturbing to the average person.’’

A state cop said police don’t look to slap the cuffs on someone leaning back into a car with a loaded gun.

"I put my head in the car and I’m going to be arrested for a crime,’’ said State Police Sgt. Sean Haggerty. "It’s ludicrous to put any credence to that type of situation.’’

Okay here’s all you need to know.

We’ve got a Republican, pro-gun Legislature; we’ve got a Democratic governor who is pro-law enforcement.

Translation: When it comes to guns, there’s going to be a lot of firepower this year, not a lot of results.


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