Yesterday Daymond Steer of the Conway Daily Sun wrote an article about the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee’s vote on SB 116 also known as ‘Constitutional Carry’. That vote happened today and the bill passed out of committee with the recommendation of ‘Ought to Pass’. Steer did his due diligence by interviewing both sides on the issue but he failed to do his research in a big way.
Steer talks about the expected vote and claims there is “A similar bill is working its way out of the House.” There was indeed a similar bill to SB 116. It was House Bill 582 and it was exactly the same wording. The bill has been retained in committee and isn’t ‘working its way’ anywhere.
He then goes on to talk about the ‘permit’ process. In fact it is called a pistol/revolver license and Steer leaves out some extremely important facts about the process. He makes it seem as though it’s a simple process that takes 14 days and only costs residents $10. He neglects to point out that anyone applying for a pistol license must provide 3 references and is subject to the decision of the person in their town who issues licenses (typically the police chief).
One of the biggest issues that proponents have with the pistol license process in New Hampshire is indeed the discriminatory profiling by issuers who are allowed to profile under current state law and decide whether or not a person is deemed ‘suitable’ according to the issuers’ standards to carry concealed. People who testified at hearings have pointed out instances where police chiefs have indeed denied or delayed pistol licenses based on gender and politics.
Steer also doesn’t question Conway Police Chief Ed Wagner who claims the following:
“We want to know who is carrying concealed so we know what we are getting into (when responding to a scene)”
New Hampshire law forbids any ‘lists’ of pistol license holders but it appears from Wagner’s comment that they indeed have a list and apparently use it when pulling people over or going to their homes. This was discussed in hearings at the state house. Police are already trained to assume someone may have a firearm or a weapon upon encountering any situation. This list is something that keeps being brought up but no one seems to want to answer the questions: Where is this list? Who has access to this list? How is this list used and who exactly is on it?
Steer also interviews New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police President Andrew Shagoury who has been excoriated for his testimony regarding SB 116. His association is for gun control and wants to ban certain firearms. Shagoury’s testimony during the hearings show the reason people should be for SB 116. It’s frightening to think that some police chiefs believe they are judge and jury.
And Shagoury continues with his fringe statements about law-abiding citizens. He claims that killers may not kill someone if they have to get a pistol license:
“Shagoury said most murders are committed by people the victim knows. A couple of extra steps involved in getting a concealed permit might prevent a potential killer from following through.”
This statement by Shagoury is so incredibly ignorant and unfounded it borders on lunacy. People who apply for pistol licenses can freely open carry. If a law-abiding citizen suddenly decides to kill someone, they are hardly going to apply for a pistol license. Shagoury is a police chief. He cannot be this incompetent. He is intentionally making outrageous claims because he believes the people in his town and in New Hampshire are stupid.
Steer then proves he failed to do his research by making the following claim in his article:
With a changed law, people such as misdemeanor domestic violence convicts, who are federally prohibited from possessing guns, could carry a concealed weapon under New Hampshire law.
This statement is 100% false. SB 116 never trumped federal law and as a reassurance to those who claimed it did, as in the above statement, an amendment was added and passed today as well. The amendment simply adds the word ‘Federal’ and removes ‘both owning’: “unless the applicant is prohibited by New Hampshire or Federal statute from possessing any firearm.”
If a person is federally prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm they cannot legally purchase one. If they do, they are breaking the law as is the person who sells it to them. Not only would this person NEVER apply for a pistol license but they wouldn’t open carry either because it’s illegal for them to possess a firearm.
It’s unclear where Steer got the following information but again it is 100% false:
What’s more, the bill would let people carry loaded rifles and shotguns in a car, something that’s now generally prohibited under a New Hampshire’s hunting laws.
SB 116 is specific to PISTOL licenses and has absolutely nothing to do with rifles or shotguns. Not one thing. Either Steer has no clue how to read legislation or laws or he is simply regurgitating false information from gun control extremists. That’s not exactly what one would call ‘journalistic integrity’.
This is another statement by Steer in the article that is completely false:
The issue with the reciprocity component is that, if passed, there would be no mechanism to revoke reciprocity with a state with poor concealed weapons laws.
SB 116 is not changing how the state conducts reciprocity negotiations with other states. The bill asks that the state try to seek more reciprocity with other states but says absolutely nothing about revocation of current reciprocity agreements. The process for agreements is not being changed at all.
The article by Daymond Steer is an egregious and flagrant abuse of the citizenry of Conway. It’s one thing to simply interview parties involved in the legislative process but it’s completely another to, as a ‘journalist’, just regurgitate information from the likes of Shagoury without doing some research to find out if the statements are factual.
Readers of the Conway Daily Sun should be outraged and insulted at this type of reporting. Going forward it would behoove those who read this newspaper to verify what its reporters are claiming. Unfortunately it has come to that but luckily research is just a mouse click away.
Cross posted from Examiner