A measure scheduled for a public hearing this week in the New Hampshire House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee, while not likely to gain significant momentum in coming weeks, is nonetheless one of the more radical pieces of anti-gun legislation introduced on the state level during the fledgling 2016 legislative session.
House Bill 1368, sponsored by state Rep. Katherine Rogers (Merrimack-D), would require the seller, purchaser and owner of a firearm to be covered by a liability insurance policy. As written, the legislation does not specify the details of a qualified liability policy, or what it would cost and cover, only that violators could be fined up to $10,000 per violation by the state. Further, the measure applies to every firearm carried or owned in the Granite State, by residents and non-residents alike.
In characterizing the proposed bill this week, the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) described it as blatantly unconstitutional and without legislative precedent.
“Clearly, firearm liability insurance will have no effect on the criminal misuse of firearms; however, it will have onerous effects for law-abiding gun owners,” the NRA-ILA stated in its legislative alert.
While the measure’s chance for passage is largely viewed as unlikely, its mere presence establishes a goal for anti-firearm lawmakers in New Hampshire and other states.
New Hampshire gun owners and advocates were encouraged to contact members of the New Hampshire House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee and their state representatives to urge them to oppose HB 1368.