(NH) Benson Signs Gun Legislation


July 17, 2003, 03:52 AM

Benson signs gun legislation

Bill restricts dealer, manufacturer liability
Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Gov. Craig Benson signed a bill into law yesterday that protects gun manufacturers and sellers from being sued when criminals use their products.

The new law limits the liability of manufacturers, distributors, dealers and importers of guns and ammunition from harm caused by misuse. The law also protects access to guns and ammunition for lawful uses. It takes effect Jan. 1.

Since 1998, more than two dozen cities, counties and states have sued gun manufacturers, many claiming the manufacturers allowed weapons to reach criminals because of irresponsible marketing.

Many suits have been dismissed or dropped, but Congress is considering legislation to protect gun manufacturers and sellers from lawsuits anyway.

The White House and the National Rifle Association support federal protections. The four members of New Hampshire's congressional delegation are co-sponsors of the legislation.

The NRA regards the lawsuits as a backdoor attempt to ban guns. The association has made enacting the federal legislation a top priority.

Supporters argue that consumers still can sue if the product is defective or if the manufacturer or seller commits a felony that leads to harm.

Opponents counter that the industry should not be protected from lawsuits if it could have prevented guns and ammunition from being sold to criminals.

Last month, a Manhattan federal appeals court dismissed a similar argument in a lawsuit brought by the state attorney general against gun manufacturers. The court affirmed a lower court ruling.

The lawsuit claimed the manufacturers knowingly contributed to a flood of illegal guns into New York that resulted in injuries and deaths.

The federal court said it was "legally inappropriate, impractical and unrealistic" to require gun manufacturers to take unspecified steps to lessen the availability and criminal use of handguns.

The case is similar to another recent lawsuit brought in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The civil rights group alleged that gun manufacturers knew corrupt dealers were selling firearms to criminals in minority communities and did nothing to stop it.

The NAACP sought to force distributors to restrict sales to dealers who have storefront outlets, prohibit sales to gun show dealers and limit individual purchasers to one handgun a month.

In May, a federal jury determined 45 gun manufacturers and distributors should not be held liable. The jury was unable to reach a verdict regarding 23 other defendants. A final decision by a federal judge is pending.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

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July 17, 2003, 08:23 AM
The Concord Monitor publishes an evenhanded piece on guns! What next?

July 17, 2003, 10:43 PM
Now all NH would have to do is adapt this bill and it would be perfect....

The “Restore the 2nd Amendment” bill would include the following amendments...

1. Long guns can be carried on foot or in a vehicle loaded, chambered and unlocked with no permit required.

2. No permit shall be required to carry a handgun for open or concealed carry anywhere in the state.

3. All laws previously passed regarding the harvesting of game are hereby abolished. It is up to the land/property owner’s authority if he chooses to impose any rules or regulations on the hunting/harvesting of game. Un-owned land shall have no rules regarding the hunting or harvesting of game as long as such does not infringe upon or violate the liberties of another.

4. All legal residents of New Hampshire have the right to conduct private firearms transactions with other legal New Hampshire residents without notification to or permission from any local, state, or federal officials or any other state citizens.

5. Towns and local authorities have no power to pass laws, which infringe or violate any rights involving firearm ownership, use, or possession. Only property owners, who have legal and moral authority to own and control what they possess, can decide which restrictions, if any, they wish to impose on their property in regards to firearms.

Well, this is my idea of a bill to introduce. What do you guys think about it? Have any suggestions on what could be added to help strengthen it? Note that I did not deal with any federal firearms laws as one would not be able to deal with such at the state level anyway.

Glock Glockler
July 17, 2003, 10:52 PM
Hey Blain,

We'll get there, Rome wasn't built in a day. I think after NH is selected for the Free State project you'll see things speed up a bit.

July 17, 2003, 10:59 PM
Heck, Glock, I live in MA right now anyway....it better be NH!!!

All I know is that where ever I move, I want to be able to have a sizeable amount of land. I want to be able to hunt and shoot on my own land.....Is this possible in NH? I think so....I hope so....

Standing Wolf
July 17, 2003, 11:40 PM
Well done, New Hampshire!

July 18, 2003, 03:20 AM
Your idea for a bill seems like a good idea but I do wonder if eliminating all hunting regulations on public land wouldn't lead to overhunting, supply demand type of thing.

July 18, 2003, 06:49 AM
An everyday occurrence here in the Granite State. It gets less common, though, as you go further south near the MA border, where the towns are made up of MA folks who think Govt should pay for everything, but move to NH to escape the taxes.

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