Press Release

Giffords Praises New Hampshire House for Passing Legislation to Remove Guns from Those in a Crisis

HB 687 establishes a process to obtain an extreme risk protection order

January 8, 2020 — Giffords, the gun safety organization led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, applauded the New Hampshire House for passing HB 687. The bill establishes a process for family members or law enforcement to obtain an extreme risk protection order, which temporarily prohibits an individual who poses a danger to themselves or others from possessing a firearm.

“Nine in ten gun deaths in New Hampshire are suicides. It’s time we did more to stop so many of these tragedies from happening,” said Molly Voigt, state legislative manager at Giffords. “When someone is in distress, those around them should have access to lifesaving tools that make it less likely a deadly tragedy will happen. We are glad to see leaders in New Hampshire who understand there is more they can do to save lives in situations like this. Giffords looks forward to working with legislative leaders who are taking proactive steps to protect New Hampshire residents by moving this extreme risk law forward. We strongly urge the Senate to send this life- saving legislation to Governor Sununu’s desk.

Extreme risk protection orders create a civil court order, issued by a judge upon consideration of evidence provided by a family member or law enforcement officer, that temporarily prohibits a person in crisis from possessing or purchasing firearms or ammunition. A common thread in many shootings is that family members of the shooters had noticed their loved ones engaging in dangerous behaviors and were concerned about their risk of harming themselves or others—even before any violence occurred.

Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence’s Annual Gun Law Scorecard, which grades and ranks each state on its gun laws, gave New Hampshire an F for its lack of gun safety laws. New Hampshire further weakened its poor gun laws in 2018 by repealing its prohibition on carrying firearms in vehicles. Currently, the state does not require a permit to carry concealed guns in public, nor does it require background checks at gun shows, online, or in private sales. New Hampshire could raise its F grade by instituting background checks and passing this extreme risk law.