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ICYMI: Sheriffs, Legislative Leaders Force Sununu Appointed AG to Issue Guidance

In Case You Missed It, Several County Sheriffs joined Democratic legislative leaders and candidate for Governor Dr. Tom Sherman this week in a joint letter to the Republican appointed Attorney General John Formella sounding alarms over major gaps in school safety created by a highly controversial Republican gun bill signed by Governor Sununu.

In response to the letter, Attorney General Formella was forced to issue interim guidance on major aspects of the bill to police departments across the state.

House Democratic Leader Rep. David Cote (D-Nashua) released a follow up statement after the AG’s office’s issued interim guidance

“The Attorney General’s interim guidance lacks the clarity law enforcement and educators need and obscures the real danger of HB 1178. The guidance reads: “Local and state law enforcement officers are empowered to respond to, investigate, and take action with respect to any potential threat to schools pursuant to their authority under the New Hampshire Criminal Code. The passage of HB 1178 does not alter this.” Rep, Cote joined Strafford County Sheriff Mark Brave and Merrimack County Sheriff David Croft in a press call Thursday to detail their concerns, which were covered by statewide media.

InDepthNH: Representative David Cote said the new law could have “grave consequences” when seconds count in a school shooting and that law enforcement needs clear guidance on what the new law means.

He said Sununu could have waited to sign the bill until some of these questions were answered and that the bill was poorly crafted by Republicans who voted in the majority to support it.

WMUR: "This bill as written would basically eliminate the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act," said Strafford County Sheriff Mark Brave. "I believe that no school administrator or educator should have to decide between violating state or federal law."

NH Bulletin: Brave and Croft say the law inhibits their ability to enforce the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990, which stops an unauthorized person from possessing a loaded firearm on school property, as well as federal laws prohibiting firearms possessions for people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors. At the press conference Thursday, Brave said he could not think of any examples of the Gun-Free School Zones Act being used recently, but said it would be helpful to deter an active shooter situation.


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