"Before we discuss restrictions we should point out that by and large New Hampshire doesn’t suffer from the gun violence rates that other states do such as New York. There is a history to gun ownership in NH that I think leads to a largely responsible, gun-literate population. However, we are not immune to gun-related crime nor do we accept our role in the trafficking of guns across state borders. States like Massachusetts have far stricter gun sale laws and so New Hampshire runs the risk of being the source of firearms sold and then traded or trafficked across state lines to bad actors. Since Salem is a border community to Methuen and Lawrence, we run the risk of dealing with those same bad actors, and same weapons, when they cross the border to commit a crime or deal drugs (both of which are on the rise in this community). Having said all of the above, we need to first identify areas of concern. The three areas where I think legal restrictions on firearms can do the most good for Salem are as follows: ITEM 1: The repeal of 'Constitutional Carry' or concealed weapons without a license. ITEM 2: Requiring background checks on all persons looking to purchase a firearm. ITEM 3: Requiring that all firearms transactions be carried out or brokered by a federally licensed firearms dealer. ITEM 1: In NH we had a system where local police approved the requests for concealed carry permits with an approval rate of over 90%. By and large, those who wished to own firearms, specifically pistols, and carry them on their person were able to do so. By repealing this pro-forma licensure process we have now created an environment hostile to police and our community. COMMUNITY MEMBERS can no longer assume that those who do carry concealed weapons were first approved by local police officials. POLICE OFFICERS - and specifically patrol officers - must now approach every interaction, every driver they pull over, and every call for service with even greater caution as police records will no longer display whether or not an individual has a concealed carry permit. As someone who lives in a border community alongside Massachusetts towns like Methuen and Lawrence, the prevalence of registered and unregistered weapons is high and police often find themselves in highly dangerous. There is no common sense reason to remove a rule that served as a last-ditch safety mechanism for law enforcement in their efforts to safeguard the town of Salem. ITEM 2: The instant background check rule that many have sought, like the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence founded by Ronald Reagan’s former press secretary James Brady, has been shown by non-partisan studies to help reduce violent gun crime and suicide. Of all suicide attempts in the United States, roughly half involve a firearm and of those a whopping 85% are, unfortunately, successful. And though violent gun crime has fallen since the early 1990’s from a rate of 1.2 million incidents of firearm violence with over 1.5 million victims to approx. 400 thousand firearm incidents with over 450 thousand victims as of 2011, background checks can lead to a reduction in our already declining violent gun crime rates. For more information please see the RAND Corporation and the National Institute of Justice (a US government organization designed to foster science-based criminal justice practices). ITEM 3: Lastly, I favor closing the gun show 'loophole' and similarly unregistered firearms sales by requiring that all sales be brokered by a federally license dealer. Under current law, it is required that all private sales be registered but that is at the discretion of the seller themselves. Please note that by discretion I’m not saying there is an option to not report but that the seller must then take it upon him/herself to actually fill out the required forms and submit them post-sale. Having a federally licensed firearms dealer act as the broker for any private sales and immediately recording that sale will help late enforcement track the path of any weapon(s) used in the commission of a crime. It can also help identify individuals who perhaps should not own a weapon (here I am thinking of red flag laws that would ID individuals with mental health issues and pose a risk to themselves or others - as well as people with multiple domestic abuse allegations, for example). Once again, law enforcement in Salem often has to deal with bad actors from across the state border who come to NH to purchase weapons, deal drugs, etc and I support any tool that will help law enforcement protect our community and prevent weapons from falling into the hands of criminals."
Source: Citizens Count Issue Survey 2018