BY: Citizens Count
The mass shooting in Las Vegas this week has prompted gun control advocates to call for stricter laws on the sale and possession of firearms.
Most of these proposals are at the federal level. For example, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan is sponsoring a federal bill "to close a loophole that allows semi-automatic weapons to be easily modified to fire at the rate of automatic weapons."
However, some gun control advocates want stricter laws at the state level, too.
NH's gun laws
New Hampshire currently has relatively few gun laws compared to other states.
This year Gov. Chris Sununu signed a bill that makes it legal for anyone to carry a concealed firearm. New Hampshire also does not require a license or registration for firearm owners.
As required by federal law, anyone purchasing a firearm from a dealer must pass a background check. A private sale that takes place between two individuals does not require a background check.
Does NH need more gun control?
Gun control advocates see several weak points in New Hampshire laws.
First, New Hampshire does not report mental health records to the national firearm background check system.
Second, New Hampshire does not require private individuals selling their guns to conduct background checks.
Lastly, New Hampshire does not have any restrictions on rapid-fire weapons.
Gun control supporters argue these all present unnecessary opportunities for unstable individuals to acquire deadly weapons.
Is more gun control unnecessary?
Opponents of more gun control point out that the shooter in Las Vegas passed background checks and showed no signs of future criminal behavior, so stricter gun laws would not have stopped him.
"We have to understand that we can’t control what other people do outside of this door no more than an automobile manufacturer can control what people do with the vehicle," said Chris Sullivan, a former resident of Keene who sold the Vegas shooter some firearms.
Others argue that gun control laws only serve to persecute legal gun owners; if someone wants to commit an act of violence, he or she will disregard any laws.
Do you think New Hampshire should pass stricter gun control laws? Let us know in the comments below.