Crime & Public Safety

Majority oppose law requiring background checks for firearm sales - 279 participants

Feb 05, 2017

Rep. Katherine Rogers is sponsoring a bill, HB 201, that would require background checks for commercial firearm sales. A 'commercial sale' would be defined as a sale, transfer, or exchange of a firearm that takes place at - or adjacent to - a gun show. The bill includes an exception for private sales and transfers of firearms, provided that neither the buyer nor the seller is prohibited by law from owning a firearm. Read more about this issue here. On February 5, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should NH require background checks for commercial firearms sales?” 

Should NH require background checks for commercial firearms sales?

Absentee Ballot New Hampshire Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 279 participants gave 766 responses.

A total of 95% of those participating gave a ‘yes or no’ response to the question. The remaining 5% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 279 individuals from New Hampshire contributed a total of 766 responses or reactions to this question. Click here for details on our methodology.

[Note: Citizens Count NH also received additional comments from 35 individuals from outside New Hampshire.]

What Participants Said

No: A majority, at 76% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were opposed to passing a law requiring background checks for commercial firearm sales.  

  • “Commercial sales, defined as sales by those engaged in the commerce of dealing firearms, are already subject to background checks. This is just another attempt to restrict private sales between two non-prohibited persons.”
  • “The background checks we have now are more than sufficient.”
  • “The bill in question turns private sales, transfers and exchanges into commercial sales as well as hinders training. It is anti-safety as well as being unenforceable.”

Yes: The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 24%, were in favor of a law requiring background checks for commercial firearm sales.  

  • “Law-abiding, responsible Granite Staters should welcome making it harder for dangerous people in their communities to get firearms.”
  • “If you are too dangerous to pass a background check, you're too dangerous to own a gun.”
  • “As a NH resident and gun owner, how could I object to a law that aims to keep firearms out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them?”

Other: As noted above, 5% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. Most of these related to clarifying the bill or current law.

  •  “Still need to pass the phone call to the state police to buy a firearm unless you are buying out of the back of a car.”
  • “Is there not already a background check being done?”
  • “You should read the bill before agreeing to it.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

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Related Bill

HB 201 (2017)
Bill Status: Killed in the House
Hearing date: Jan 19, 2017


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