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February 21. 2013 1:29PM

Gun rights supporters turn out at State House hearing

CONCORD - Gun owners turned out in force to proclaim their natural right to bear arms, and among those showing their support was a former representative who took off his coat to show his holstered weapon in Representatives Hall where guns are not allowed.

Former Libertarian Rep. Donald Gorman of Deerfield spoke against House Bill 290, which would prohibit a person with a license to carry a concealed weapon from openly carrying a firearm in a public building or on public property.

Testimony on the bill was overwhelmingly in opposition, with former Republican Party Chair and gubernatorial candidate Jack Kimball of Dover telling the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee it needs to curtail bills that seek to take away people's God-given rights because the issue is galvanizing people like never before.

"It's up to you to end this stuff," Kimball told the committee. "If you put it in our hands, we will end it. Believe me, we will end it."

Several people testified that something has to be done about the growing gun violence in the country.

Anne Lyczak of Portsmouth, who lost her husband to gun violence, said it is just a matter of time before something tragic happens in New Hampshire.

"Do we value gun rights, or do we value public safety?" she asked. "Do we value gun rights or do we value human rights?"

The committee also had public hearings on several other gun-related bills Thursday.


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