EDITORIAL: Gun control vetoes cowardly, dangerous

  • Governor Chris Sununu at 'Monitor' ed board last month GEOFF FORESTER

Published: 8/9/2019 5:00:38 PM

It was just a week ago that we used this editorial space to urge legislators to take action on gun control following a pair of deadly shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

Unfortunately, just the opposite took place between last Tuesday and today. In the latest example of partisan, thoughts-and-prayers, do-nothing “leadership,” New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed three gun control bills Friday.

All three had passed the House and Senate but were shot down by Sununu, who continues to live up to the A grade awarded him by the NRA.

HB 514 would have enacted mandatory three-day waiting periods for all gun purchases, excepting purchases of hunting firearms by people who’ve completed a safety course and purchases made by law enforcement or military personnel. Aside from the obvious ‘crimes of passion’ that waiting periods would theoretically reduce, HB 514 was specifically backed by New Hampshire mental health experts because it would reduce suicides.

“We must understand that suicide is preventable, and it starts with us,” Sununu said in his second-term inaugural speech in January, a little over six months before he vetoed this bill.

HB 109 would have closed loopholes in the background check process, something even President Donald Trump called for after the most recent of this year’s seemingly infinite number of mass shootings. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Katherine Rogers, said that the NH Dept. of Safety estimates 40 percent of all gun sales next year will not go through any background check.

When running for office in 2016, Sununu said he supported universal background checks.

Lastly, Sununu vetoed HB 564, which would have prohibited carrying a firearm on school property. You may be incredulous to learn that carrying guns on school property is not specifically banned by state law, but it has yet to be codified into an RSA, and remains so after Friday’s veto.

“As a parent of three young children, I know that if we can’t put our kids on the school bus and know they are safe, nothing else matters,” Sununu said during his State of the State address in February of 2018, five days after the Parkland, Florida school shooting.

“Protecting our children from gun violence in the classroom should not be a partisan or 2nd amendment issue, and the Governor, a father himself, should be ashamed for making it one,” said House Majority Leader Doug Ley of Jaffrey following the veto. “The frightening reality is that New Hampshire children and educators are less safe as a result of the Governor’s veto today.”


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