Politics & Policy

New Hampshire Governor Vetoes Three Gun-Control Bills

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu in Providence, R.I., July 13, 2017. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)
A popular Republican governor faces a test from state Democrats.

New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu vetoed three gun-control bills on Friday: one establishing a three-day waiting period for those wishing to purchase a gun, a second prohibiting carrying a gun on school property, and a third requiring background checks on many private firearm sales.

“These three bills would not solve our national issues nor would they prevent evil individuals from doing harm, but they would further restrict the constitutional rights of law abiding New Hampshire citizens,” Sununu said in his veto message. “The New Hampshire Constitution states ‘All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state.’ This language provides what many believe to be more expansive legal protections for gun ownership than the second amendment to the United States Constitution.”

New Hampshire Republicans are accusing the Democratic leader of the state senate of playing politics with the timing of the legislation: The bills passed the state senate in May and the state house in June, but the state’s Democratic senate president, Donna Soucy, did not officially send them to the governor’s desk for his signature or veto until after the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton occurred.

New Hampshire GOP spokesman Joe Sweeney “said the three gun bills ‘lingered’ on the Democratic leaders’ desks since June 27 while 150 other bills were sent to the governor. He accused them . . . of a ‘shameful and disgusting exploitation of a national tragedy,’” WMUR reported on Thursday.

Democratic House leader Steve Shurtleff responded in a letter, saying, “I have signed all the bills I receive as quickly as I am able and to insinuate that we could predict two mass murders and hold these bills until they happen is preposterous.”

But New Hampshire senate leader Soucy “made it clear her timing was related to the El Paso and Dayton shootings two days earlier,” according to WMUR.

“Thoughts and prayers have never been enough,” Soucy said in her statement. “In memory and honor of more than 30 people killed by gun violence this weekend, today I signed a package of gun violence prevention bills and delivered them to Gov. Sununu for his consideration.”

New Hampshire Public Radio reported last month that Sununu has already vetoed a record number of bills for a New Hampshire governor in a single year. In 2018, New Hampshire’s senate and house flipped from Republican to Democratic control, but Sununu won his second two-year term by a seven-point margin, a five-point improvement over his 2016 election. (Sununu is the son of former New Hampshire governor John H. Sununu and younger brother of former New Hampshire U.S. senator John E. Sununu.)

So far in 2019, New Hampshire voters have been pleased with Sununu’s job performance pushing back against the Democratic legislature. A Morning Consult poll published in July found that Sununu, with an approval rating at 65 percent, is the third most popular governor in America.

Sununu’s popularity is partly attributable to the fact that he is very accessible. “I give my cell phone [number] to everybody,” Sununu told National Review last week. “People are actually very respectful of it. Very rarely do I have people who are constantly calling me.” Given the intensity of support for gun control among Democrats at the moment, this could be an unusual weekend when Sununu’s phone doesn’t stop ringing.

Most Popular

White House

Implications of the Flynn Pardon

President Trump granted a pardon to Michael Flynn, his former national-security adviser, today. Flynn had pled guilty to lying to FBI agents about conversations, during the 2016 transition, with the Russian ambassador about sanctions. Flynn’s pardon should bring to an end one gross violation of the ... Read More
White House

Implications of the Flynn Pardon

President Trump granted a pardon to Michael Flynn, his former national-security adviser, today. Flynn had pled guilty to lying to FBI agents about conversations, during the 2016 transition, with the Russian ambassador about sanctions. Flynn’s pardon should bring to an end one gross violation of the ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More

The Imaginary Trump

Like Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump is man who represents the age in which he lived. Whatever you may think of the age. Jackson embodied a generation of men who had risen and made their mark in a young country. He represented their desire for greater representation, even if it had costs for slaves and Indians. He ... Read More

The Imaginary Trump

Like Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump is man who represents the age in which he lived. Whatever you may think of the age. Jackson embodied a generation of men who had risen and made their mark in a young country. He represented their desire for greater representation, even if it had costs for slaves and Indians. He ... Read More
Culture

On Being Grateful

My mother always enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner. She took a traditional Southern woman’s pride in being a good cook, following her mother’s recipes, and my family made a rare display of kindness by declining to inform her that she was a fairly dreadful cook, one whose kitchen alchemy on the electric range ... Read More
Culture

On Being Grateful

My mother always enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner. She took a traditional Southern woman’s pride in being a good cook, following her mother’s recipes, and my family made a rare display of kindness by declining to inform her that she was a fairly dreadful cook, one whose kitchen alchemy on the electric range ... Read More
Economy & Business

Shopping Superstitions

It’s the boss-bossiest time of the year, when Americans getting ready to open up their wallets to buy Christmas presents are lectured by illiterate halfwits about where and how to spend their money. The usual demands: Buy local, or buy from small businesses. This is pure nonsense, and you should feel free to ... Read More
Economy & Business

Shopping Superstitions

It’s the boss-bossiest time of the year, when Americans getting ready to open up their wallets to buy Christmas presents are lectured by illiterate halfwits about where and how to spend their money. The usual demands: Buy local, or buy from small businesses. This is pure nonsense, and you should feel free to ... Read More
Film & TV

Bowing Down to Obama

‘How can we miss you when you won’t go away?” political podcaster Yvette Carnell joked two years ago when Barack Obama began his comeback tour by making sideline pronouncements about the state of the nation after his brief retirement. Now the comeback is official, with two new Kool-Aid-drinker Obama ... Read More
Film & TV

Bowing Down to Obama

‘How can we miss you when you won’t go away?” political podcaster Yvette Carnell joked two years ago when Barack Obama began his comeback tour by making sideline pronouncements about the state of the nation after his brief retirement. Now the comeback is official, with two new Kool-Aid-drinker Obama ... Read More
U.S.

Gratitude: What We Owe to Our Country

Editor’s Note: The following essay by National Review founder William F. Buckley comes from the first chapter of his 1990 book, Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country. I have always thought Anatole France’s story of the juggler to be one of enduring moral resonance. This is the arresting and ... Read More
U.S.

Gratitude: What We Owe to Our Country

Editor’s Note: The following essay by National Review founder William F. Buckley comes from the first chapter of his 1990 book, Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country. I have always thought Anatole France’s story of the juggler to be one of enduring moral resonance. This is the arresting and ... Read More