A Tale of Two Gun Bills

Last week’s state house committee hearings featured two very different gun proposals. The first, HB 1314, is excellent. It would allow people to carry guns into colleges or any other government-funded entity. The other, HB 1657 is terrible. It would create a huge list of places where guns would not be allowed, including anywhere with a liquor license, hospitals, polling places, churches, and other clear constitutional violations of the right to property and religion.

In the case of the awful gun prohibition bill, the testimony was entirely against it, with the exception of the bill’s sponsor who spoke first. It was an avalanche of pro-weapons-freedom testimony which was well-spoken by its advocates. (This happens in NH anytime gun freedom is threatened. Self-defense supporters come out in large number to testify for gun freedom.) The bill went down in flames, 11-2 voting “inexpedient to legislate”. I don’t have full video of either hearing, but I got most of them. Here’s the video of the terrible gun ban bill hearing first:

Here’s the video of most of the hearing on the good gun bill which would allow carrying on college campus and other state-funded entities:

The good bill sadly also did not pass the committee via a 9-4 vote to ITL (Inexpedient to Legislate). We will see what happens on the full floor of the house of representatives when they vote on it.

Judge Dismisses “Free The Nipple” Charges on Technicality, Issues Prudish Order

Free the Nipple Hampton Beach

Free the Nipple, Hampton Beach 2015

In the Summer of 2015, Heidi Lilley and B. Liz MacKinnon were ticketed on Gilford beach in alleged violation of the town’s ordinances. In late December, they went to trial at Laconia district court and Free State Project early mover and attorney Dan Hynes put on an excellent defense. Judge James M. Carroll took the case under advisement and has now issued his six-page order: both cases are dismissed!

Don’t get too excited. If you read the order, you’ll find that Judge Carroll is no hero of constitutional rights or equality. Page three of his order ridiculously cites the private Motion Picture Association of America’s ratings system as evidence of a supposed “societal desire” to regulate female toplessness. Carroll argues that because the state’s three prudish witnesses (the three snitches) don’t appreciate female toplessness and because the town gave notice of the existence of the ordinance, that somehow means the town ordinance doesn’t violate the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution or Article 1 of the NH Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

Given that Article 1 only mentions men when it says, “All men are born equally free and independent”, is it Judge Carroll’s opinion that only men were born free and that women can be told what to wear, for the good of “society”? He’s not foolish enough to come right out and say that, but his order does make excuse after outrageous excuse for the town’s ordinance, claiming it’s constitutionally sound:

The township’s compelling interest is met in maintaining the beach as a natural resource to be enjoyed by young and old , men and women, families and single persons while preserving appropriate standards that allow the township to maintain their local values and mores…The Court does not find that the prohibition violates any constitutionally protected right…the movement “does not have ‘a right to impose one’s lifestyle on other who have an equal right to be left alone.

Topless Tuesday, Keene's Central Square, 2010

Topless Tuesday, Keene’s Central Square, 2010

So, if the social mores were that all women must wear burqas, because seeing any skin at all bothered people, it sounds like Carroll would consider that mandate constitutional as well.

Though Carroll defends the right to marry either gender, he says that such marriage is a protected right, while toplessness is not. On the final page, he claims the toplessness in this case had no artistic value, while on page three he acknowledges the female nipple “has been the subject of great beauty in art”. Apparently Carroll is an art critic now, too.

Ultimately, Carroll decides the case in the favor of the defendants, but not on the excellent constitutional or equal protection arguments made by attorney Hynes, but simply on a technicality of the system: (more…)

Repealing Prohibition on Prostitution: Full Hearing Video and Press Conference

Elizabeth Edwards is a Free State Project early mover and elected democrat state representative who has heroically put forth the only proposed repeal of the prohibition on prostitution that I’ve heard of in my near-decade here in New Hampshire.

Were HB 1614 to pass, adults in NH would be able to trade sex for money without fear of arrest, prosecution, and jail. It does NOT create a regulatory structure (legalization) it just strikes the statutes criminalizing prostitution, and keeps in place prohibition on sex slavery.

It’s an excellent bill and surprisingly, everyone who testified on it, testified in favor. However, the cowardly chiefs of police did submit written testimony against it. Here’s full video of the press conference and the hearing in front of the Criminal Justice committee:

Will the bill have a chance the first year out? Probably not, but kudos to representative Edwards for putting it up for consideration. This is a conversation that people need to have at the state house about economic freedom and self-ownership. Stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest.

If you want to help move forward pro-liberty political change here, please join the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, whether you are in NH or not – you can help.

VIDEO: Speaking Truth to Power, January 19th and 26th

Here’s another video compilation of me speaking to various NH state house committees over the last couple of weeks:

Bills I testified on included:

  • HB 1616 – would give NH people an opt-in to federal REAL ID compliance for their driver’s license.
  • HB 1610 – would make possession of up to two ounces of cannabis by people 21+ legal
  • CACR 24 – proposed constitutional amendment to enshrine the right to travel
  • HB 1476 – would allow people under 16 to work with parental permission rather than a school bureaucrat

If you want to help move forward pro-liberty political change here, please join the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, whether you are in NH or not – you can help.

Hearing on Underage Drinking Bill

On January 26th, I recorded most of the hearing on a bill (HB 1606) that would allow 18-20 year olds to drink alcohol with someone 21 and up. In addition to fear-mongering cops testifying against the bill, the video ends with an epic nearly 20 minute Q&A for me by the reps on the criminal justice committee. Also, don’t miss the excellent testimony by Keene representative Tim Robertson. Here’s the video (it’s not the full hearing as I had to leave for a different hearing):

If you want to help move forward pro-liberty political change here, please join the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, whether you are in NH or not – you can help.

Full Legislative Hearing Video on Proposal to Repeal Dog Licensing

House Bill 1576 proposes to repeal mandatory dog licensing. Here’s what happened at the public hearing on the bill in the Municipal and County Government house committee on January 14th in the Legislative Office Building in Concord, NH:

If you want to help move forward pro-liberty political change here, please join the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, whether you are in NH or not – you can help.

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