House Rules

NH House from the Gallery

Why is it that, in New Hampshire, towns are prohibited from establishing “no firearms” policies at selectmen and school board meetings, and in their public town facilities?

And why is it that, as long as you adhere to New Hampshire State law, you are, in fact technically allowed to carry a concealed firearm within 1000 feet of a school?

I don’t personally want or need to do this but, yes, it is true.  And before you post a Liberal hate response, read the US Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, subsection 922, item (q) (2) for the specific language of the “Gun-Free School Zone Act” of 1990.

Yet, the New Hampshire House of Representatives feels it had the authority to pass a “rule” prohibiting  firearms on the House floor and in the House gallery (both public places, paid for with public revenue), despite there being no state law addressing  it.

The point here is that New Hampshire is not a “home rule” state, meaning that political subdivisions (cities and towns, for example) cannot establish policies that override State law unless the legislature passes a law granting that authority; in this case, prohibiting firearms in public places is not allowed.

I make the claim that the NH House is bound by the same standard, since it is not a private entity and it conducts its business in the public space.

Like it or not, this is the law and public bodies must conform to it.

I speculate that the House rule is invalid and must be eliminated.  For good.

The fact that the rule has been overturned is good -but there should be no room for such a rule, and the NH Constitution and State Law (or lack thereof) should be in force – nothing more.

Lawyers with a valid opinion, please feel free to chime in.