May 4, 2015 9:17 AM
Landrigan: Supporters, foes try to raise money with concealed weapon permit rallying cry
CONCORD - Gov. Maggie Hassan’s strong threat to veto legislation to get rid of concealed gun carry permits touched off a fundraising pitch from both sides.
NH1 News confirmed Hassan’s political team sent out an email seeking contributions in support of her decision.
"I know what happens when you stand up to the gun lobby. It’s only a matter of time before groups like the NRA start launching outrageous attacks to try to make me back down,’’ Hassan wrote.
"But I won’t back down, and I need to be ready to respond quickly. If we wait to fund our rapid response account until the attacks come, it’ll be too late. I need you to act now.’’
Former State Sen. Robert Clegg, a prominent Second Amendment supporter, said it was inappropriate for Hassan to try and raise money this way.
"It’s amazing how she refused to meet with Women's Defense League of NH but met with Mom's Demand Action and now is fundraising off the issue,’’ Clegg said.
Opponents are spreading unwanted fears about the legislation, Clegg maintained.
"This bill doesn't change who can own or possess a pistol or revolver it only says that if you out you coat on because it is cold, of if your significant other is sitting in the car while you are in the post office and they don't have a concealed carry license they won't end up in jail,’’ Clegg added.
"I have faith the governor will listen to those affected and discount those who seek to spread fear and untruths.’’
Hassan announced the veto on the morning of the House vote before a group of gun control advocates and just after she got a letter from the state’s police chief lobby urging her to take this step.
Within hours of the email, however, Republican State Chairwoman Jennifer Horn of Nashua was out with her own pitch for dollars but from the opposite perspective.
"Maggie's motives are clear - she is trying to cozy up to radical, out of state, big money gun control groups that want to restrict our Second Amendment rights,’’ Horn wrote.
"She is desperate to get her hands on the millions of dollars that gun grabbers like liberal New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will funnel into her campaign coffers as she plots a run for the United States Senate.’’
Last week, Hassan defended the permits law noting it’s been on the books for nearly 100 years and had the strong support of the late, arch-conservative Gov. Meldrim Thomson.
Hassan also said the bill was far too open-ended noting there was no age limit on having a concealed gun without any oversight or any required firearms training.
State Sen. Andy Bedford, R-Bedford, did not think supporters would try to make changes to appease Hassan.
"We’re going to have this battle and it’s not over yet,’’ Sanborn said during the NH1 Newsmakers program.
The political talk show aired Sunday morning at 11:30 and was rebroadcast at 10:30 pm.