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NH HOUSE KILLS ANTI-GUN BILL HB 1589
-- by a two-to-one vote

[Posted on www.PGNH.org Wednesday, February 12, 2014, at 12:25 p.m.; UPDATED (with details of today's fascinating action on the House floor) 2/12/14 at 1:25 p.m.]

This morning the New Hampshire House of Representatives killed HB 1589 by a vote of more than two to one, even though the bill passed the Commerce Committee by a party-line vote of ten Democrats to eight Republicans, and even though after the last general election, the House make-up switched from 70 percent Republican (normally pro-gun) to now majority Democrat (normally anti-gun). THANKS TO ALL THE PRO-GUN NEW HAMPSHIRE (PGNH) MEMBERS AND OTHERS WHO BLASTED THEIR STATE REPRESENTATIVES WITH COMPLAINTS ABOUT THIS HORRIBLE BILL.

[Update 2/12/14 at 1:25 p.m.] Watching complex parliamentary procedures unfold in a legislative body can be like watching an intricate chess match. Here's what happened today:

1: Rep. Baldasaro (R) moved to “Lay on Table” (a parliamentary procedure that means no further action unless the House votes to bring the bill back before the end of the legislative session): This was a close vote, but it failed by 163 to 165.

2: The House voted 174 to 166 to adopt the amendment (#0371) that the Commerce Committee had approved, which would at least drop the penalty from a felony to a misdemeanor.

3: Rep. Hoell (R) submitted a floor amendment to change the bill into just a “study committee.” This motion was adopted, although by a squeaker vote of 177 to 175. Adopting an amendment, however, doesn’t mean that the bill will pass the House with that amendment.

4: Rep. Butler (D), the chair of the Commerce Committee, moved to lay the bill on the table. This failed, 173-183.

5: Rep. Lambert (R) moved to “Indefinitely Postpone” the bill, but this motion failed, 133 to 226.

6: The House then voted on whether or not to adopt the bill with the amendment proposed by Rep. Hoell, namely to turn the bill into just establishing a study committee. This FAILED by a vote of 165 to 195.

7: Then came the decisive motion by Rep. Gene Chandler (R), the minority leader, former Speaker of the House, and Pro-Gun New Hampshire Advisor, to kill the bill (declaring it “Inexpedient to Legislate,” or ITL, meaning kill it). This motion PASSED (!!) by a huge vote of 242 to 118, over two to one!

8: Finally, Rep. Chandler used a clever parliamentary trick: he moved to “reconsider” his own motion to kill the bill! He knew that because the House just voted so decisively to ITL (kill) the bill, it would DENY his motion to reconsider that vote – and the House did so, by a vote of 113 to 244. This was a clever process, because once a motion to reconsider fails, no further motions on that bill can be made – in other words, the nail’s in the coffin, and there’s nothing anyone can do to resurrect the bill. Hurray for Gene – the bill’s dead and gone!
 

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Oops, this is what the bill would have done.....

As we’ve reported earlier, HB 1589, which would make it a felony to sell or otherwise transfer a gun in New Hampshire without going through a licensed dealer, passed the House Commerce Committee by a party-line vote of ten Democrats to eight Republicans. This Wednesday, February 12, it will be voted on by the full House of Representatives, whose party makeup is similar. Because there are anti-gun Republican reps and pro-gun Democrat reps, the outcome is not foregone. CALL YOUR STATE REP(s) ASAP and tell them why they should defeat this bill. See the left side of the Pro-Gun New Hampshire website home page, at www.PGNH.org, for links on contacting your state representative(s).

Here are some talking points when you call your state representatives:

1. “Human rights and the specter of tyranny.” The entire national gun community is well aware of the history of gun control: HB 1589 means that the government will eventually know who has what guns, meaning universal registration – which has historically, around the world, led to confiscation. Think Jews in Nazi Germany, Armenians in 1920s Turkey, everyone in Soviet Russia and Ukraine... and contemporary Americans in California and New York City. (1930s Germany was the most advanced country in Europe; it can’t happen here...right?) See www.noubc.com.

2. “Unintended consequences.” HB1589 is such an outrageous, over-the-top attack on the Second Amendment community that people have already said that if it passes, they’ll ignore the new law, even at the risk of imprisonment. This creates disrespect for government and police: think Prohibition, think marijuana laws; both encouraged generations of lawlessness and cultural change. The ultimate expression of resistance to ever more Draconian anti-gun laws will be armed revolution – which is already being discussed in national conservative forums. There are over 300 MILLION guns in private hands in the United States. (That’s not a guess; it's from a US General Accounting Office report of a few years ago. The data is from the US Justice Department, which tracks manufacturing, imports, and exports of guns.)

3. “Political poison.” If New Hampshire’s Democrat legislators insist on this extreme anti-gun crusade, even union members won’t vote for them in the next elections. Besides, if HB 1589 makes it out of the House, the NH Senate will kill it; think last year’s HB 135, which was less aggressively anti-gun from the viewpoint of Republicans. Bills like this, if pursued by most Democrat legislators, will destroy the Democrat party in New Hampshire, which is still a basically conservative state.
 

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Finally, sanity prevails.
 
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