BELLEVUE, WA â€“ The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today congratulated members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives for voting to expand the stateâ€™s self-defense statute by over-riding Gov. John Lynchâ€™s veto.
The 251-111 House vote Wednesday afternoon follows a 17-7 vote by the State Senate last week, enabling SB 88 to become law. The legislation was opposed by gun prohibition and anti-self-defense groups that insisted it would close the door for recourse by innocent bystanders who might be accidentally shot in a self-defense situation. Law enforcement officials also reportedly opposed the measure.
â€œThe right of a citizen to defend himself or herself, or their families from violent attack is sacrosanct in this country,â€ said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. â€œThat right does not, and should not, end abruptly on the front porch of someoneâ€™s home, but cover situations that could erupt in any public place where a citizen has a right to be.
â€œLaw-abiding citizens in other states,â€ he continued, â€œenjoy full self-defense rights, and there is no reason why the good people of New Hampshire should be treated any differently. The expansion of self-defense rights has not â€“ as anti-gunners have consistently predicted â€“ led to widespread incidents of vigilante justice or careless use of deadly force. Responsible armed citizens do not live down to such hysterical misrepresentations, and the anti-self-defense lobby knows it.â€
Gottlieb particularly thanked House Speaker William Oâ€™Brien for what appears to have been a change of heart, allowing the override vote after earlier suggestions that no such vote would be entertained.
â€œWe are confident that New Hampshire citizens will demonstrate the same due care and caution that citizens of other states have shown,â€ Gottlieb observed. â€œIt is utter nonsense to believe that any citizen should leave his personal safety, and the safety of his loved ones, parked at home.â€