Contact: Joe Mullin, New England States Coordinator
On August 9, Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Governor Chris Sununu vetoed several firearms-related bills that sought to restrict and/or delay one’s ability to purchase and carry a firearm. Gov. Sununu used this as an opportunity to further emphasize the already existing “culture of responsible gun ownership and individual freedom” in his veto message.
House Bill 109 would have subjected commercial firearms sales and/or transfers to criminal background checks and would have provided a criminal penalty for any such violation. Similarly, House Bill 514 sought to implement a three-day waiting period on the sale, trade, transport, delivery, or giving of a firearm.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation submitted a letter of opposition to Gov. Sununu on both bills in late June, highlighting the negative bearings the bills would have on the state’s sportsmen and women, and the potential loss of conservation funding for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department which might occur. As was mentioned in the letter of opposition, the National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that “more than 80 percent of Pittman-Robertson excise tax contributions are generated by sales attributed to recreational shooting.” Each year, the sportsmen’s community contributes over $255 million to New Hampshire’s economy and supports 4,000 jobs.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?