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New Hampshire: Private Transfer Ban & Waiting Period Bills to be Heard in House Committee

Monday, February 11, 2019

New Hampshire: Private Transfer Ban & Waiting Period Bills to be Heard in House Committee

On February 13th, the New Hampshire state House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee will be hearing two gun control bills that would impose onerous restrictions on the rights of New Hampshire gun owners and sportsmen.  House Bill 109-FN would effectively criminalize almost all private firearm transfers and House Bill 514-FN would impose a seven business day waiting period on firearm and ammunition sales.  Please contact committee members and urge them to OPPOSE HB 109-FN and HB 514-FN.  Click the “Take Action” button below to contact committee members.

House Bill 109-FN would essentially ban the private transfer of firearms.  It employs a broad definition of “commercial sales” that would require private individuals, such as collectors and hobbyists who attend gun shows to trade firearms among each other, to conduct their transfers through Federal Firearm Licensed (FFL) dealers.  The exemptions in the bill for private individuals not attending gun shows are so narrow and this definition of “commercial sales” is so large that they are effectively useless.

This is a solution in search of a problem.  Federal law already requires firearm dealers, regardless of location, to do background checks when transferring firearms.  According to federal studies of how prison inmates acquired firearms, fewer than 1% reported acquiring them at gun shows, and the vast majority acquired firearms on the black market, by straw purchase, or by theft.  In addition, ATF has reported that nearly half of illegally trafficked firearms alone originate through straw purchasers.

House Bill 514-FN would delay Second Amendment rights by requiring a seven day waiting period (excluding weekends and holidays) before an individual may receive firearms or ammunition that they purchase.  There would be limited exemptions such as for those who have completed the 16 hour hunter safety course and are seeking to buy a long gun.  

Waiting periods are an archaic relic from before the digital age, since they were originally meant to give local law enforcement time to complete background checks.  Since the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) came into operation in 1998, technology has allowed background checks to be done instantly, activating the law that eliminated the federally required waiting periods.  There is no evidence that waiting periods reduce suicides.  A waiting period would not deter or affect criminals, as they obtain the vast majority of their firearms from illegal sources.  It would especially affect first-time buyers seeking a firearm for self-defense, as it would be a seven working day delay where they and their loved ones are left defenseless.

Again, please click the “Take Action” button above to contact committee members and urge them to OPPOSE HB 109-FN and HB 514-FN.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.