/Shaheen and Craig discuss gun safety laws with local activists

Shaheen and Craig discuss gun safety laws with local activists

MANCHESTER (N.H.) – Friday saw the U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D.NH) met with Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, and volunteers from Mom Demands Action at Manchester City Hall in order to discuss gun violence prevention as well as the recently passed BipartisanSafer Communities Act

The law, which was passed into law on June 25, provides $750 million for states to assist courts in keeping deadly weapons out the hands of people who are deemed to be a serious threat to themselves and others. The law provides $250 million to community-based violence prevention programs, as well as a thorough background check for gun buyers under 21 years old and penalties for those who purchase guns from convicted felons.

The implementation of the law in New Hampshire is still unclear due to the passage of HB1178 in Concord and a recent Supreme Court ruling that invalidated a concealed-carry firearms statute in New York State.

Shaheen was still optimistic, however, given the fact that 15 Republican senators voted in favor of the bill, which is one of the most important gun control measures Congress has passed in decades.

Shaheen and others agreed during the conversation that it was important to challenge those who oppose the measure when they try to frame the new law or other initiatives aimed towards preventing mass shootings in the future as an attack on Second Amendment rights.

She said, “This should not be about whether you’re pro or anti-gun. This should be about common-sense gun safety precautions we can all agree on.”

Volunteers from the group, such as Amy Bradley (D–Manchester), expressed frustration at New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signing HB 1178 into law and his lack of support for other initiatives to prevent mass shootings in New Hampshire.

The group expressed frustration at the state’s “divisive concepts” law and the chilling effect it has had on gun safety education in schools. Marcella Dube, a discussion participant, expressed hope that the Be Smart program will eventually be able to join other initiatives like D.A.R.E. as a standard approach to teaching kids gun safety.

Craig stated that she works with Chief Allen Aldenberg of Manchester Police Department to establish evidence-based community initiatives to lower gun violence in Manchester. Aldenberg also works with Dr. Jennifer Gillis, Superintendent of Manchester School Department, to prepare for active shooter attacks on Manchester’s public schools.

Craig stated, “We must keep going because it is the right thing. We need to ensure that people feel safe within our communities.”