Report Comes As New Hampshire Legislature Considers HB 109, Legislation That Would Require Background Checks for All Commercial Gun Sales
New Website Lets Users See Where In New Hampshire Gun Sales Were Posted on Armslist.com
CONCORD, N.H. ― The New Hampshire chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today responded after a year long Everytown investigation uncovered nearly 1.2 million ads on Armslist for firearm sales that would not legally require a background check. Those ads included 14,608 ads for guns for sale in New Hampshire.
The report comes as New Hampshire lawmakers consider HB 109, legislation that would require background checks for all commercial gun sales, including sales made at gun show or in response to ads like the ones on Armslist. The bill will have its first hearing on February 13th.
“You should not be able to access a gun if you can’t pass a background check,” said Deidre Reynolds, volunteer chapter leader with the New Hampshire chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “And yet that is not the case in New Hampshire. Our lawmakers should work to pass HB 109, which would require background checks on all commercial gun sales in New Hampshire. Ensuring prohibited buyers can’t get their hands on guns through unregulated online sales will help keep our families safe. It’s time for New Hampshire take action on gun safety legislation.”
HB 109 is one of several gun violence prevention bills that will be heard next Wednesday, including a bill to prohibit guns in K-12 schools and firearm purchase waiting periods.
There will be another gun safety hearing on March 5th for HB 687, a Red Flag law that would create an Extreme Risk Protection Order in New Hampshire. This legislation would allow family members and law enforcement officers to petition a court to temporarily keep guns out of the hands of people in crisis who have demonstrated that they pose a serious risk of harming themselves or others.
As part of the Armslist investigation, investigators posted ads in Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Tennessee for gun sales that would not require a background check. Of the people who responded with interest in buying a gun, nearly one in nine buyers was legally prohibited from buying or possessing a gun — and would have failed a background check at a licensed gun dealer.
Earlier this year, Representative Rogers unveiled HB 109, legislation that would require background checks on all commercial gun sales in New Hampshire. Under current federal law, background checks are required only for gun sales by licensed firearm dealers. No background check is required for sales by unlicensed individuals, who can sell guns to strangers they meet online or at gun shows with no background check, no questions asked, and no verification as to whether the buyer is a convicted criminal, severely mentally ill, or otherwise prohibited from having guns.
14 states have enacted laws requiring background checks on all gun sales, but New Hampshire has not. The investigation released today found that where background checks were required by state law, Armslist.com sellers overwhelmingly showed compliance with the law and indicated a background check would be required before completing the sale. However, where there was no state law requirement, sellers did not indicate they would require a background check for the sale to be completed, offering potential access to people who cannot legally purchase or possess guns.
Also on Tuesday, Everytown also released hidden camera footage in which an investigator licensed in Ohio responded to firearm ads on Armlist and was able to complete multiple firearm purchases without a background check. Everytown also unveiled a new website, everytownresearch.org/unchecked, which allows people to search and compare the national, state and county numbers of ads placed on Armslist for gun sales where no background check was legally required.