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Garry Rayno's State House Dome: Gun rights groups taking aim at SB 244
As originally proposed, the bill, sponsored by Sen. David Watters, D-Dover, and Rep. Jeff Goley, D-Manchester, would require people with court-determined mental illness to be added to the federal list of people prohibited from purchasing guns.
That section of the bill is gone, but two provisions remain: one to establish a commission to study the relationship between mental health and firearms, and another that had several gun rights groups backing the original bill - a path to annul a person's mental health records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Gun and ammunition manufacturers and distributors, along with Pro-Gun New Hampshire, backed the bill because of the provision establishing a process for getting a name removed.
In a subsequent email, Pratt said passing the bill would only encourage greater restrictions in the future and allow anti-gun rights activists to keep the issue in play.
Pratt is not telling the truth about the amendment, which he has seen, Clegg said. "GOA comes out and says the bill does things it doesn't do," he said.
He noted some people have spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to have their names removed from the federal prohibited list, only to be told by a judge that such removal can't be done in New Hampshire.
He told the committee he paid an attorney $13,000 to go through the court process, which ended with a judge telling him his request could not be granted under New Hampshire law. His attorney told Bryant he could appeal the superior court decision, but that would cost about $20,000, he said.
He also noted the bill would set up a commission composed of interested parties who would be able to sit at the table and say how best to fix the system, he added.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has yet to vote on the amendment proposed by Carson.
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Drones: Not to drone on, but a key House committee last week approved a revised plan from one of the Legislature's leading privacy advocates, Rep. Neal Kurk, R-Weare, that would curtail drone activity, particularly by state, local or federal agencies.
Kurk introduced a bill last year that would have banned drones from taking pictures of people's homes, but the bill drew adamant opposition from the N.H. Association of Broadcasters and the N.H. Civil Liberties Union, both claiming it would violate First Amendment rights.
The House will vote on the bill by the end of March.
Grow Your Own: Despite a near-certain veto by Gov. Maggie Hassan, the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee voted, 13-3, to approve a bill that would allow patients who qualify for the state's new medical marijuana program or their caregivers to grow their own medicine.
The Senate bowed to her request and the House eventually gave in, wanting a medical marijuana program of some kind.
Patients would lose their right to grow their own when an alternative treatment center opened within 30 miles of where they lived.
Abortion Clinics: While much of the attention last week was on Senate Bill 319, which passed on a 15-9 vote, setting up a 25-foot buffer zone around the entrances to abortion clinics, abortion foes took one on the chin in the House, as well.
The House Health and Human Services Committee voted, 17-0, Thursday to kill the bill.
The bill was the work of the Americans United for Life (AUL) and was a legislative priority for pro-life groups, such as N.H. Right-to-Life and Cornerstone Action.
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