Crime & Public Safety

CITIZEN VOICES®

'Red flag' gun law in NH?

Mar 27, 2018

‘Red flag’ laws, known variously as extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs) or gun violence restraining orders, allow a court to issue an order to confiscate the weapons of someone deemed a threat to themselves or others. Connecticut, Washington, Indiana, California, and Oregon have red flag laws. Since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, 19 states are considering similar legislation. New Hampshire is not one of them, with confiscation of weapons limited to domestic abuse protective orders or felony convictions.

Learn more about gun laws in NH.

“Should New Hampshire create a ‘red flag’ law that would let a court temporarily prohibit someone from possessing or buying firearms if they're deemed to pose a threat to themselves or others?”

Discussion held on Citizens Count NH website and Facebook page March 14, 2018

321 citizens responded206 citizens were opposed to a red flag law in NH69 citizens were in favor of a red flag law in NH46 citizens commented on related questions or issues

What Participants Said

No: 206 citizens were opposed to a ‘red flag’ law in NH.

  • “Where is the due process, and deterrence against false reporting for petty revenge and troublemaking?”
  • “This is literally creating a solution for a problem that doesn't exist here.”
  • “Hell no. Too much potential for abuse. Police already have this power in domestic abuse cases.”

Yes: 69 citizens were in favor of a ‘red flag’ law in NH.

  • “Yes, I've had someone close to me go off the deep end temporarily, in no way should they even have access to a firearm.”
  • “Such laws … are sensible, fully constitutional, and successful in at least five states. They save lives and reduce the fear experienced by family members of people who face a high possibility of harming themselves or others. They provide due process guarantees since they must be approved by a judge, and are temporary.”
  • “Yes. … Err on the side of caution. The gun owner can appeal and if the confiscation was unwarranted they get their guns back. Think there is no precedent? Google asset forfeiture.”

Other: 46 citizens addressed their comments to related questions and issues.
These included:

  • Gun laws: “Assault rifles are illegal to own, only the Military and Police are allowed to own them.”
  • Further information: “I would first need to [know] how a person would be deemed a threat.  Who makes that determination; and who has access to this information once someone is flagged?  I might support if provisions are more clearly defined.”
  • Relevance: “Is this a common problem in New Hampshire? Have there been cases in the state where a law like this would have prevented crime?”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.

Read the full Facebook discussion of this question

Click here for details on our methodology

Comments

Bryan Donovan Jr.
- Lyndeborough

Thu, 03/29/2018 - 12:01am

Should there be a 'Red Flag' Gun Law in NH? NO - and I find the argument that "five other states already 'Red Flag' gun laws, and 19 more states are considering legislation" to be extremely weak to say the least.

When you factor in the question of due process and the portential (100% certainty) for abuse of civil liberties - and weigh these against what little noticeable positives that would result - the cons so outweigh the pros without question.

However - a question I do have.. is this:
In NH, a state with nearly non-existent violent crime or gun violence, but a state with high firearm ownership - wouldn't a 'Red Flag' gun law have a much higher likelihood of actually INCREASING gun violence - as those now "prohibited from buying and POSSESSING firearms" would have their guns confiscated by force.. a scenario ripe with potential for armed conflict where none existed before.

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