New Hampshire universal background check bill up for debate

A newly proposed universal background check bill will be up for debate Thursday in the New Hampshire House Criminal Justice Committee.

House Bill 201, sponsored by Democrat Rep. Katherine Rogers, would require background checks for all commercial gun sales or transfers in the state. Noncommercial sales or transfers would be excluded.

The bill defines a commercial sale as follows: “a sale, transfer, or exchange of a firearm that takes place at, or on the curtilage of, a gun show or pursuant to an offer to sell, buy, transfer, or exchange a firearm that took place at a gun show, or pursuant to an advertisement, posting, listing, or display.”

The National Rifle Association – Institute for Legislation argues that the above definition could in practice mean that all private transfers and sales of firearms would require a background check.

According to this interpretation of the bill, the NRA-ILA says if enacted the law would essentially be unenforceable, as it would require the registration of all firearms in private possession in order for such background checks to be effective.

Nearly identical bills have not made it out of the New Hampshire House in the past.