“It’s become clear that the process [on S.B. 244] is not going to produce anything good. And I believe it’s time to stop this effort to put lipstick on a pig.” -- GOA’s Legislative Counsel Michael Hammond, writing in the Union Leader (February 26, 2014)

Knowing history is sometimes helpful.

After both the Columbine and Newtown tragedies, most gun groups tried to negotiate "gun control lite" proposals to deflect the fiery pressure which was being put on gun owners. 

Gun Owners of America fought these compromise proposals, and stopped them in both cases.  After Columbine, in the U.S. House, we defeated the Dingell compromise through a coalition of anti-gun Democrats who were unwilling to accept NRA's "half a loaf" and about 80 pro-gun Republicans who were unwilling to give up "half a loaf."

As a result of stopping every single word of gun control in 2000 and 2013, both GOA and NRA benefited.  We would not have been able to sunset the semi-auto ban ... create the armed pilots program ... pass the Smith Amendment barring Brady Check taxes and registries ... or pass restrictions on FEMA’s ability to confiscate guns during emergencies, if the Washington establishment had viewed the "gun lobby" as wimps who had been largely defeated by Bill Clinton (or Barack Obama).

We are now facing the same situation in New Hampshire.

On Thursday, S.B. 244 squeaked through a Senate committee, with three "half a loaf" Republicans voting for it and two Democrats voting against.

The bill, as reported, would create a 17-member committee to "study any issue relating to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and the federal statutes and rules governing NICS" -- once again accepting the false premise that the prevalence of guns was the reason for Newtown.   The committee is dominated by a slight majority of anti-gun Democrats.

By our count, at least 9 of the 17 members -- a majority -- would vote for the original S.B. 244, which vastly expanded the number of innocent Granite Staters who would have a NICS gun ban imposed on them as a result of a "star chamber" procedure.

By our count, at least 9 of the 17 members (albeit a different nine) would vote for Universal Background Checks.

When the General Court convenes next year, it will have this study to propel passage of both of those provisions.

It is true that the bill contains a (flawed) relief from disability procedure.  We can say from MASSIVE experience that few victims will have the resources to petition for a restoration of rights which shouldn't have been taken from them in the first place.

We still believe we will be able to stop this "gun control lite" proposal.

The first question is how many Senate Democrats will resist this "half a loaf" offer.  It may not take many pro-gun Republicans to strike it down in the Senate.

The second question is how many House Democrats will vote "no."  We do have a cadre of strong pro-gun House members who will strongly fight this bill.

The third question is whether House Democrats will overcome the "half a loaf" conundrum by amending S.B. 244 to make to even more anti-gun.

At any rate, the battle has just begun.

ACTION: The first step is to contact your state senator.  Urge him or her to oppose the anti-gun bill, S.B. 244. And there is a special pre-written letter for Senators Carson, Cataldo and Boutin (at the very bottom) -- since they are the three Republicans who voted for this bill in the committee.

HOW TO CONTACT-WRITE YOUR STATE SENATORS: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/senate/members/wml.aspx

Simply identify your state senator, click on their email addresses and then copy-n-paste the appropriate message below.

----- Generic pre-written letter for Senators -----

Dear Senator

After both Columbine and Newtown, trembling Republicans thought they could assuage a ravenous anti-gun movement by passing "gun control lite" proposals.  It never worked.  And it won't work now.

S.B. 244, as reported, would create a 17-member committee to "study any issue relating to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and the federal statutes and rules governing NICS" -- once against accepting the false premise that the prevalence of guns was the reason for Newtown.   The committee will be dominated by a slight majority of anti-gun liberals.

At least 9 of the 17 members -- a majority -- would vote for the original S.B. 244, which vastly expanded the number of innocent Granite Staters who would have a NICS gun ban imposed on them as a result of a "star chamber" procedure.

At least 9 of the 17 members (albeit a different nine) would vote for Universal Background Checks.

When the General Court convenes next year, it will have this study to propel passage of both of those provisions.

It is true that the bill contains a (flawed) relief from disability procedure.  Gun owners can say from MASSIVE experience that few victims will have the resources to petition for a restoration of rights which shouldn't have been taken from them in the first place.

I stand with Gun Owners of America in opposition to S.B. 244.  Please vote against this anti-gun bill.

Sincerely,

----- Specific pre-written letter for Sens. Carson, Cataldo and Boutin -----

Dear Senator

Like foolish, trembling Republicans after both Columbine and Newtown, you thought you could assuage a ravenous anti-gun movement by passing a "gun control lite" proposal.  It never worked then. And it won't work now.

S.B. 244, as reported, would create a 17-member committee to "study any issue relating to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and the federal statutes and rules governing NICS" -- once again accepting the false premise that the prevalence of guns was the reason for Newtown.   The committee will be dominated by a slight majority of anti-gun liberals.

At least 9 of the 17 members -- a majority -- would vote for the original S.B. 244, which vastly expanded the number of innocent Granite Staters who would have a NICS gun ban imposed on them as a result of a "star chamber" procedure.

At least 9 of the 17 members (albeit a different nine) would vote for Universal Background Checks.

When the General Court convenes next year, it will have this study to propel passage of both of those provisions.

It is true that the bill contains a (flawed) relief from disability procedure.  Gun owners can say from MASSIVE experience that few victims will have the resources to petition for a restoration of rights which shouldn't have been taken from them in the first place.

So please understand this:  I stand with Gun Owners of America in opposition to S.B. 244, and I will remember your anti-gun vote when primary season rolls around.

Sincerely,

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