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New Hampshire legislature will reintroduce the Castle Doctrine; warn Governor Lynch to put away the veto pen

December 28, 2010

  When the new New Hampshire state legislature convenes next month one of the first issues that will be brought forth is a reintroduction of the “deadly force” bill that has failed twice under the previously Democrat controlled state legislature. Unfortunately the Union Leader article that I will be quoting from is only available in the print paper and not online, so I cannot provide a proper link to the source material.

   Basically, the “deadly force” bill mirrors what is known as the “Castle Doctrine” which states that a person does not have the obligation to first retreat before using deadly force to protect himself or his family. The “deadly force” bill would also expand the right to self defense to apply to anywhere that the defendant has a lawful right to be.

   Basically this law would reaffirm Article 2-a of the New Hampshire Constitution which states, “All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state.” It is unfortunate that we actually have to pass legislation which reaffirms the state constitution but that is the world that we currently live in and if that is what it takes to assure that New Hampshire residents keep their right to bear arms than so be it–we will do whatever it takes.

  The last time this bill was introduced it actually passed both the House and the Senate before being vetoed by Democrat Governor John Lynch. When vetoing this bill, Governor Lynch proclaimed that this legislation was unnecessary because the state constitution already made it clear that “citizens can stand their ground and use deadly force whenever necessary to protect themselves and their loved ones whose lives are in jeopardy.” However, one needs to look no further than the case of Ward Bird–who did not use deadly force, but merely showed a gun in defense of his property–to see that the law enforcement in this state, and the juries presiding over these cases, need to have the law strengthened in order to assure that innocent men do not go to jail simply for defending themselves.

  But much has changed in New Hampshire since 2006 when the governor vetoed this legislation. With the election of last November, the Democrats went from having a majority in the State House, State Senate, and the Executive Council to the Republicans having a veto proof majority in the State House and State Senate, while also controlling the Executive Council by a 5-0 majority. And Representative Leo Pepino–who introduced this bill twice before and is also behind introducing it this time–has a message for Governor Lynch: “If he was smart, he’d stay home.” While the spokesman for Gun Owners of New Hampshire warned the governor that he could, “put away his veto pen because there are enough people to override it.”

  It looks all but certain that the “deadly force” bill will now become law in New Hampshire one way or the other and this is a great victory for second amendment advocates in the state of New Hampshire, but if this does happen it symbolizes more than just a second amendment victory, because this emphasizes a point that I made while recapping the recent state elections in New Hampshire last month.

  New Hampshire may have fared even better than most of the other states across the country and while Governor Lynch managed to hold on to his seat he has been reduced to nothing more than a figurehead. The Republicans hold a veto proof majority in both branches of the state legislature; they hold all of the cards for the next two years and the governor will be powerless to stop them. This will naturally pull the governor back to the center and New Hampshire will be better off for it in the long run.

  This bill–assuming it becomes law–symbolizes the changing times in New Hampshire and I am looking forward to seeing how New Hampshire progresses in the next two years.

30 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2010 9:39 pm

    If YOUR Castle Doctrine is ANYTHING like our Castle Doctrine, get yourself a .45 or a 12GA, and then just wait for the asshats to make a move into YOUR house…

    The Castle Doctrine is the most wonderful law we have here in Texas!


    • December 29, 2010 7:44 am

      It is supposed to be modeled after the Castle Doctrine that something like 30 states have adopted, so I think it will be much the same as the law you have in Texas.


  2. December 28, 2010 10:07 pm

    This is cause for celebration! It is so nice to have GOOD news once in a while!


    • December 29, 2010 7:45 am

      Yes it is and I think we can expect to see this new legislature flex its muscles on many other issues as well!


  3. December 29, 2010 2:50 am

    What it Lynch’s logic? If Ward Bird had actually fired his weapon all would be well? It’s a shame that such a clarification needs to be legislated, but kudos to the people of NH for making it possible.


    • December 29, 2010 7:46 am

      It is a shame, the New Hampshire constitution is already more clear than the United States constitution on the right to keep and bear arms and while in a perfect world this clarification would not be necessary, after years of Democrat rule up here the sad fact is that it is necessary.


  4. LD Jackson permalink
    December 29, 2010 5:50 am

    I agree with rjjrdq. It’s a shame that it has to come to this. A person should always have the right to defend themselves, no matter where they are. Doing that should not require giving the criminal a fair chance to shoot or harm you first.


    • December 29, 2010 7:47 am

      Exactly Larry! We should not need this legislation, but we do and it is a great day knowing that it looks like there is no way for the governor to stop this from becoming law.


  5. December 29, 2010 12:55 pm

    Every state should have this.


    • December 29, 2010 9:39 pm



  6. Phillip Cleary permalink
    December 29, 2010 4:02 pm

    I live in the Peoples Republic of Illinois one of only 2 states in the Union that does not have a Concealed Carry Law. Our state is crime ridden, bankrupt (both monetarily and morally) and we have the distinction of having the most corrupt government in the world as exemplified by our now famous first citizen. The only way to defend yourself with deadly force is if the offender is in your home and you “Fear for YOUR Life”! Not the life of your spouse or child but yours and yours alone. While the rest of the nation, except for the few municipalities that still deny their citizens their full access to the 2nd Amendment, have seen a sharp decrease in Violent Crime our crime rates in Illinois have skyrocketed out of control. Our citizens have hoped for years that the corrupt regime of King Ritchie of Chicago would fade over the horizon and a new, more Constitutionally attentive leader would be elected we now have the specter of a more virulent Communist dictator coming into power. Our residency requirements have been subverted by a leftist judiciary and we now see that Rahm Emanuel will succeed the King. For me it’s time to move south.


    • December 29, 2010 9:44 pm

      New Hampshire actually has some of the least restrictive gun laws in the country, anyone can walk into a store, buy a gun and carry it. You need to pass a quick background check that takes about 10 minutes and you can walk out with a gun. We need a concealed carry permit which takes about a week to get once your references are called and another background check is perormed, and we have one of the lowest violent crime rates in the country. You would think that the politicians would be able to put two and two together, but the left continues to get this backwards.


  7. December 29, 2010 6:46 pm

    I wonder if Ward Bird has any comment on these proceedings…
    About time, comes to mind…


    • December 29, 2010 9:44 pm

      Here is hoping that this is enough to get Ward Bird freed!


  8. December 29, 2010 9:20 pm

    That’s a fantastic development. Of course, the left will be silent when the crime rate goes down.


    • December 29, 2010 9:47 pm

      New Hampshire has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation, as well as a high percentage of gun owners, but the left never seems to put these two issues together do they?


  9. Eric permalink
    December 30, 2010 5:16 pm

    While this bill being introduced is great, nothing has been passed yet (with exception of the right to show starting Jan 1). I strongly urge you to reach out to your local house and senate reps and show your support of this bill. It’s about time we didn’t have to run when protecting our life and property.


    • December 30, 2010 8:30 pm

      You can rest assured that I will be incontact with my reps as well as the governor. We need to see this bill passed!


  10. mamapajamas permalink
    January 1, 2011 8:35 pm

    It took a few years and several legal actions to straighten things out in Florida.

    I recall when the concealed carry law passed here in Florida back in the ’80s. We were the Crime Capital of the World… the TV show Miami Vice was pretty accurate in character… and the murder rate fell straight through the floor within a year of the concealed carry passage.

    Then, suddenly, tourists started falling victim. Why? Because rental cars were clearly marked with their own tags. Criminals knew to avoid local cars because the owners might be packing. This was the period when several foreign tourists, a couple from England and another group from Germany, were killed around Disney World. This made international news, and hot propaganda for gun-grabbers.

    I was working in the state Dept of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles when the order came through to replace all rental car tags with ordinary “citizen” tags. It took a week of reprinting vehicle registrations for all of the rental cars in the state, but after that, it took some time before the crime rate started creeping back up again.

    Then we came up with the 10-20-life law. If you have a gun in your posession when you commit a crime, you get 10 years on top of whatever sentence you get for your crime. That’s 10 years absolute– no parole from that sentence. If you fire a gun while committing a crime, it’s 20 years absolute. If you shoot someone, it’s life– absolute. If the person you shoot dies, that’s another matter… Florida is a death penalty state.

    This finally got things sorted out. Now, criminals have no way of knowing who is carrying a gun, and if he uses a gun in crimes, the onus is on the criminal, not the general public.

    No Florida city has had to take claim of the “Crime Capital of the World” title since.


    • mamapajamas permalink
      January 1, 2011 8:39 pm

      PS: If you shoot someone who has invaded your property, that’s too bad for the invader. We’ve got the Castle Law, too, now. 🙂


      • January 2, 2011 9:29 am

        It looks like we are going to have the Castle Dcotrine here soon also!


    • January 2, 2011 9:29 am

      I didn’t know that about the tourist plates in Florida, that is interesting. Funny how when more people have guns the crime rate goes down even though that is exactly the opposite of what the liberals would have you believe.


      • mamapajamas permalink
        January 2, 2011 9:54 pm

        Rental cars… ones you rent at the airport and whatnot, not lease cars you get from an auto dealer (which have always had private tags)… used to have commercial tags similar to the ones used on company trucks. If you saw a commercial tag on a family car, it was pretty good odds that the people inside were tourists from out of state, and therefore not legally armed in Florida.

        This information came from criminals who had been arrested for carjacking tourists. It was a completely unexpected outcome of the concealed carry law, and so the State ordered rental cars to switch to private tags… at the State’s expense, of course.

        It was expensive, complex (making sure the right car and the right registration got matched up with the right plate for a couple of million vehicles!), and one headache of a printing job for us. We had three of our four large printers running full time for slightly over a week, which had the added effect of putting us behind in other printing (drivers license notices, car titles, etc).

        But the simple fact is that criminals were avoiding people who just MIGHT be armed and going after people who almost certainly were not. They’re lazy and greedy, not stupid.


      • mamapajamas permalink
        January 2, 2011 10:13 pm

        The “most fun” part of retagging the rental cars was the large vendors, given that rental cars are moving targets.

        A tag meant for an Avis car which has a home agency in, say, Orlando, needs a Florida tag, but if someone rents it and turns it in at an Avis agency in, say, New Jersey… well, you can see the problem. It took a while to get all of the cars squared away. 😉


      • January 2, 2011 11:05 pm

        “They’re lazy and greedy, not stupid.”

        So true! They found an easy target and they exploited it, I am so glad that Florida finally found a way to protect the people that just wanted to visit also!


  11. marc permalink
    April 3, 2011 10:00 pm

    seriously, why do you have to worry about going bankrupt to defend yourself in YOUR HOME????
    i just dont get thes people who want to control you your house your kids your bankaccounts everything. if cops amke a mistake by killing someone it was on the job colateral damage sorry and the city pays for it. if you kill some rapist, burgular, torturing BTK killer etc. you could go to jail. its very sad to see what you have to fight for these dayz. we should have these libertys without question and be fighting for things are meant to be fought for not things that should just be our instinctive right.



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