Did Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence twist the truth about New Hampshire gun law?
Wiki Commons photoOne of the nation's leading gun control groups is the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. James Brady, President Ronald Reagan's press secretary, following an assassination attempt that left Brady disabled from a shot in the head, founded the organization.
The Brady Campaign recently released report cards on state efforts to control guns and gave New England states a low ranking. The scores were based on a variety of factors including the sale of guns to minors.
One assertion about New Hampshire calls into question the accuracy of the Brady analysis.
The Brady claim: "Is it illegal to sell handguns to anyone under 21 years of age? No"
The Brady explanation: "State law does not restrict selling handguns to juveniles under the age of 21 by unlicensed sellers. Under federal law, only federally licensed dealers are prohibited from selling or delivering handguns or ammunition for handguns to any person under the age of 21. A strong state law is needed to stop unlicensed persons from selling handguns to those under the age of 21."
The New Hampshire statutes on sale to minors of pistols and revolvers has exceptions that would put guns in the hands of youth but does not seem to square with the Brady claim or explanation.
The New Hampshire law: "Any person who shall sell, barter, hire, lend or give to any minor any pistol or revolver shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. This section does not apply to: (a) Fathers, mothers, grandparents, administrators or executors to give a revolver to their children or wards or to heirs to an estate. (b) Individuals instructing minors in the safe use of firearms during a supervised firearms training program, provided the minor's parent or legal guardian has granted the minor permission to participate in such program. (c) Licensed hunters accompanying a minor while lawfully taking wildlife. (d) Individuals supervising minors using firearms during a lawful shooting event or activity."
Brady Campaign director Paul Helmke is tough on the state, "New Hampshire continues to make it too easy for dangerous people to get dangerous weapons."
The Brady Campaign claim about gun sales to minors does not seem to match up with actual statutory language. The question that now faces New Hampshire residents interested in gun safety is can they rely on the Brady Campaign for their facts?
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