The New Hampshire chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement after the Senate passed extreme risk protection order legislation, which would create a red flag law. The bill now heads to Governor Sununu’s desk.
“Extreme risk laws are already saving lives in other states, and it’s past time we follow suit,” said Deidre Reynolds, a volunteer with the New Hampshire chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We applaud the Senate for prioritizing and passing this bill. Now is the time for Governor Sununu to show us if he’ll stand up for common-sense gun safety. If he’s unwilling to protect Granite State communities, we’ll cast our votes for someone who will.”
Extreme risk laws have been shown to be an effective tool in preventing gun suicides. New Hampshire’s rate of gun suicide is higher than the national average, and 90 percent of all gun deaths in the state are suicides. Gun suicide in New Hampshire has increased by 55 percent between 2009 and 2018.
Based on historical precedent, Everytown projects that the U.S. could see an estimated 20 to 30 percent increase in firearm suicides, resulting in an additional 5,000 to 7,000 gun suicide deaths in 2020 alone, solely as a result of the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bill would allow immediate family members and law enforcement officers to petition a court to temporarily keep guns out of the hands of people in crisis. Lawmakers have prioritized the legislation, after the House of Representatives passed the bill on the first day of the 2020 session.