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In New Hampshire, Parents of 12/14 Victims Promote Background Check Bill

Sandy Hook Promise, other advocates come to the New Hampshire Statehouse in Concord to promote bill.

Written by Concord, N.H. Patch editor Tony Schinella.

Two family members of children lost during the Sandy Hook school shooting came to Concord on Jan. 21, to testify before a committee promoting criminal background checks in New Hampshire.

The bill, HB 1589, requires every gun sale go through a licensed dealer and then, a background check process through the National Crime Information Center, closing a loophole that advocates say, are putting illegal guns onto the street to kill people.

Other exceptions were included in the bill to make it, according to the sponsors, “unique to New Hampshire,” including provisions excluding antique firearms, transfers or sales between family members, or transfers or sales between police officers and those who work in public safety capacity. It doesn’t create a registration process, according to the bill's sponsors.

Mark Barden and Nicole Hockley of Sandy Hook Promise, a national nonprofit organization created in the wake of the Newtown school shooting in December 2012, that took the lives of students and educators, spoke at the Legislative Office Building to speak in support of the bill. 

Barden, who lost his 7-year-old son, Daniel, in the incident, said he was in the state to inform legislators that he believed that bill would “save lives” and saying that it wasn’t new legislation but changes to current regulations.

“Having a background check accompany only some sales is like fixing only part of the hole in your boat,” he said.

Hockley, who lost her 6-year-old son, Dylan, said that there was nothing that could prepare anyone for the death of a child. She said the death of her son made her look at the issue of gun violence differently, especially after years of incidents across the United States in recent years.

“I was like so many other people, part of the silent majority in our country,” she said. “I would hear about tragic acts of violence in the news, think how awful it was, and then look away and return to my busy, daily life.”

Both Barden and Hockley, who were holding back tears at times during their remarks, said they are working with Sandy Hook Promise in an effort to address the causes of gun violence, including safety, healthcare, mental health, social isolation, and community connectedness.

Sponsors of the bill, state Rep. E. Elaine Andrews-Ahearn, D-Hampton Falls, and state Sen. David Pierce, D-Etna, also spoke in favor of the bill, adding that background checks were a common sense issue and the bill wouldn’t be an impediment of 2nd Amendment rights.

Some gun ownership advocates, however, are opposed to the bill, and held a rally at the Statehouse on Jan. 19

Pat Murry January 22, 2014 at 04:47 PM
what's staggering is your sick gun obsession.
Tony Mann January 22, 2014 at 06:15 PM
@ David. You are totally incorrect with your statements about Background checks. First off there is a law against it and it is the firearms protection act Second how can you stop private sales you can not. Every legal gun purchase from a licensed dealer require a 4473 which by the way is kept with the selling dealer. No paper work goes to the feds and no paper work is to be sent to the states under federal law. But states like CT keep records ILLEGALLY i might add and this is the issue. People that think like you AND DO NOT KNOW THE LAWS ARE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. Plain and simple no one is going to comply with universal checks on private sales. How in the world would the authorities police this and how would this stop school shootings. Clearly it did not stop Newtown or any other mass shooting for that matter. Other than columbine. What happened there was clebold's girl friend bought the rifles at a gun show from a dealer and made out the paper work. Then she illegally transfered them to harris and clebold. This is a STRAW BUY and the cops knew it. But she was never prosecuted or fpor that matter never arrested. WHY?? Simple david the gun grabbers do not want the laws to work because at last count it is believed that there are 20 thousand gun laws and adding more is a joke. Did you know SARA BRADY straw bought a gun for her son. Thats right Sara Brady illegally bought and transferred that gun to her son. care to respond??
Tony Mann January 22, 2014 at 06:29 PM
David Gregory had and transported a high cap mag to DC and showed it on TV to millions of people . Even though the chief of police in DC warned him of an arrest if he did this. He actually asked the chief for permission and was denied. He did it anyway. Was he arrested . NO so i find it amazing that you and others actually thing Universal checks will work. I guess it depends on your ZIP CODE!! I am going to answer you very simply. There has never been one single gun law that worked to stop bad guys from shooting people. So make all the feel good laws you want you and others will not be any safer.
David Stowe January 23, 2014 at 12:34 PM
Tony what is dangerous is not people working to help keep our children and communities safer, but attitudes and laws that would prefer to keep the status quo as opposed to working to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them. In states that have background checks on private sales women are 40% less likely to be shot and killed by an abusive partner. In states with background checks on private sales the instances of guns that are sold instate being part of straw purchases of trafficing are significantly lower. People who know that they will not pass a background check seek out private sales whether they be on gun shows, on the internet, in publications or anyplace else. Its like going to the airport with a weapon and having the choice to go through security or walk around it. Right now that is the state of our gun laws. I fully agree that laws need to be enforced and applied evenly to everyone but to think that checks on private sales would be unconstitutional and ineffective is simply absurd. Also to think that you can't do a better job of enforcing current laws while also improving and strengthening them is also absurd. The supreme court, and a very conservative one mind you has held that restrictions are constitutional. I have no desire to take away anyones right to lawfully own a gun, protect their family, hunt or shoot for sport. There is much that we can do that balances that with the need for public safety, security and health. I say again it is not all or nothing and instead of shouting down everything that others are trying to do to make a positive difference get involved in a constructive way. Gun violence is an issue that needs to be addressed. If you are unwilling to do so or think that there is no problem, you are part of that problem.

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