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Gun Owners in New Hampshire Press for Scrapping the State’s Background Check System

Pandemic Delays are Making Gun Owners Angry

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The Wuhan virus has thrown many things out of whack over the last year. One of the most notable has been the purchase of firearms in states nationwide. When regular gun control measures weren’t enough, states and cities took advantage of the pandemic’s disruption to delay lawful individuals’ right to bear arms.

Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms cited cases in Illinois and Philadelphia where many Americans have seen their rights delayed due to local and state governments refusing to process concealed carry and gun permit applications in a timely manner..

Even pro-gun states such as New Hampshire have also been host to delays. The state’s Gun Line system, which processes background checks for all handgun sales, has been clogged up due to increased demand. At least, that’s what the state’s Department of Safety reports. The Department of Safety presides over the Gun Line and it claims that changes to the system have been made and they’re optimistic that potential gun buyers won’t have to wait weeks or months on end for their background checks to be processed. 

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But for gun owners in the Granite State, this is not satisfactory. In their view, New Hampshire state functionaries are incapable of carrying out the checks in a timely manner, thus they shouldn’t be involved in this process to begin with.

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The New Hampshire Journal reported the following:

Alan Rice, state director for Gun Owners of America, said in a recent news release that “the governor can easily issue an executive order telling the state police to cease to conduct these checks. If that happens, by default, all checks will be conducted by the FBI.” The New Hampshire Department of Safety acts as a point of contact for the federal government’s NICS as allowed by state law.

“Gun owners will face fewer delays if they only have to clear one set of hurdles (at the federal level), as opposed to also forcing gun buyers to submit to state-mandated background checks, which then add another level of potential delays,” says Rice.

Executive Councilor Dave Wheeler tells NHJournal Rice’s idea is bad.

“The gun line has been a sore spot for gun owners all year, but with Republicans in charge, we can fix the problems permanently instead of giving more control to the federal government. We should be going the other direction, taking more control back from the feds,” he says.

“There’s no reason we shouldn’t keep this in state. Gun policy and legislation should be decided here in the Granite State, not handed over to a Biden administration that has openly campaigned on taking away our Second Amendment rights,” Wheeler says, adding he’s been working with the Attorney General and Department of Safety to ensure the gun line works as intended with minimal delays.

This dilemma could be resolved in the next few weeks by a new bill that State Senator Bob Giuda recently filed. The New Hampshire Journal reported that Guida’s legislation would scrap the Gun Line and use the NICS system instead to cover all retail firearms transactions such as handgun purchases:

Attorney Sean List says he drafted the language for Senator Giuda and the bill is something “every gun dealer in the state supports.” List, who represents several federal firearms licensees and individuals with firearm relating issues throughout the state, tells NHJournal that the delays at the gun line “has come at a great cost to the economic wellbeing of dealers and the constitutional rights of firearm owners and purchasers.”

“In short: the Gun Line still enters information into the federal system while delaying and denying the rights of purchasers without providing due process. Even worse, they are causing people to wait many months, frequently more than six, to have their firearms returned at the expiration of court proceedings. We are currently paying for a broken system and an extra layer of government involvement when the FBI does the checks efficiently and is already funded to do so with our federal tax dollars,” List says on a New Hampshire Firearms Coalition Facebook Post regarding the gun line proposal.

Attorney Sean List argues that “when background checks result in denials, the gun line has made it nearly impossible to appeal. They simply fail to respond to people seeking appeals, even though federal law requires them to do so.” On top of that, he stated that the Gun Line has “on multiple occasions, failed to timely deny firearms purchases to prohibited individuals.” 

For a state with such a pro-gun reputation like New Hampshire, it’s surprising it still has a background check system in place. Many forget that New Hampshire passed Constitutional Carry in 2017. It needs to live up to its pro-Second Amendment pedigree by scrapping this system. 

Big League Guns

Texas Governor Abbott Wants Texas to Be a “Second Amendment Sanctuary”

The Texas GOP needs to get its act together and start passing pro-2A legislation

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Last week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he wants to turn Texas into a Second Amendment sanctuary state.

Patrick Sviteck of the Texas Tribune reported on Twitter, “Abbott tells TPPF he wants to make TX a “2A sanctuary state” this session “so that no gov’t official at any level can come & take your gun away from you despite those ppl who say, ‘Heck yes, we’re gonna take your gun.’ We’re gonna say, ‘Heck no, you cannot take ppl’s guns'” in TX.”

Abbott’s quip about taking people’s guns was in response to Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke remarks during the 2019 Democrat presidential debates where he explicitly called for gun confiscation.

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Abbott’s comment came after a number of Texas counties began to declare themselves as “Second Amendment sanctuaries” throughout 2020. Daniel Friend of The Texan reported that  “By early 2020, commissioners in over 60 counties — often with the support of the county sheriff — had passed some sort of Second Amendment sanctuary resolution.”

Two elected officials have filed different versions of the Texas Firearm Protection Act, which Greg Abbott pushed back in 2013 when he was Attorney General. The TFPA is a piece of legislation that would ban law enforcement from enforcing federal gun control schemes “that purports to regulate a firearm, a firearm accessory, or firearm ammunition if the statute, order, rule, or regulation imposes a prohibition, restriction, or other regulation, such as a capacity or size limitation, a registration requirement, or a background check, that does not exist under the laws of this state.”

State Representative Steve Toth introduced House Bill (HB) 112 and State Representative Ben Leman introduced HB 919 — both of 2021’s version of the TFPA.

At a Texas Public Policy Foundation event, Abbott emphasized his pro-Tenth Amendment credentials by stating that “I still hold a record that will never be broken by anybody.I hold the record for the most lawsuits filed against Barack Obama — 31 legal actions against him.

The Texas Governor added, “We had to because the actions he was taking trampled upon Texas’ liberties based upon the Tenth Amendment. We need to go back to the fundamentals of the Tenth Amendment and reassert that against any potential encroachments that we see under the Biden administration.

The sanctuary movement is arguably one of the brightest spots for the right heading into the Biden era. Despite Democrat control at the federal level, there will be more paths for reform available at the state and local level. This should make Second Amendment operatives realize that not all politics is federal. Plus, gaining in power in D.C. necessitates having strong local political machines. Fighting Second Amendment battles at the state and local level is a good way to build a power base.

As cliche as it may sound, all politics is still local.

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