HB208 (2005) Detail

Relative to criminal penalties for possession of a firearm in a safe school zone.






AN ACT relative to criminal penalties for possession of a firearm in a safe school zone.

SPONSORS: Rep. O'Neil, Rock 15; Rep. Winchell, Rock 6; Rep. Stone, Rock 1

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety


This bill prohibits the possession of a firearm in a safe school zone and sets forth specific exceptions to this prohibition.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.




In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Five

AN ACT relative to criminal penalties for possession of a firearm in a safe school zone.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 Safe School Zones; Definitions. Amend RSA 193-D:1, I(e) to read as follows:

(e) [Unlawful] Possession or sale of a firearm or other dangerous weapon [under RSA 159].

2 New Paragraph; Safe School Zones; Definitions. Amend RSA 193-D:1 by inserting after paragraph VI the following new paragraph:

VII. “Firearm” means a firearm as defined in 18 U.S.C. section 921.

3 Safe School Zones; Criminal Penalties. Amend RSA 193-D:3 to read as follows:

193-D:3 Criminal Penalties.

I. Any person convicted of an act of theft, destruction, or violence as defined in RSA 193-D:1 committed in a safe school zone at any time of year may be subject to an extended term of imprisonment as provided in RSA 651:6.

II.(a) Any person who possesses a firearm in a place which the person knows or has reasonable cause to believe is a safe school zone shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

(b) This paragraph shall not apply to the possession of a firearm:

(1) By an individual over 18 years of age not currently enrolled in grades kindergarten through 12 who holds a valid permit issued under RSA 159:6 and who is operating or attending a motor vehicle. If such individual leaves the motor vehicle unattended, he or she shall place any firearms therein out of sight and shall lock the vehicle.

(2) By an individual as part of a program approved by a school located in a safe school zone, who has received written permission of the school principal.

(3) By an individual in accordance with a contract entered into between a school in the safe school zone and the individual or an employer of the individual.

(4) By any law enforcement officer, as defined in RSA 630:1, II.

(5) That is unloaded and is possessed by an individual while traversing school property for the purpose of gaining access to public or private lands open to hunting, provided the entry upon school property is not prohibited by school authorities. In circumstances where school authorities have prohibited the conduct described in this subparagraph, it shall be a defense, as defined in RSA 626:7, I(a), to any prosecution under this section that there was no notice of such prohibition by school authorities posted in conspicuous locations on school property.

4 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2006.





AN ACT relative to criminal penalties for possession of a firearm in a safe school zone.


      The Judicial Branch, Judicial Council, and Association of Counties state this bill may increase state and county expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2006 and each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on state, county, and local revenue or local expenditures.


    The Judicial Branch states this bill would amend RSA 193-D to prohibit, with a list of exceptions, the possession of a firearm in a safe school zone. A violation of the proposed statute would be a class A misdemeanor. Class A misdemeanors carry the potential of incarceration, and therefore, the potential for de novo appeals to the Superior Court for a jury trial. Class A misdemeanors can also involve appeals to the Supreme Court. The Branch cannot predict the number of cases that will result, but state that any fiscal impact will result in increased delays in the processing of other cases.

    The Judicial Council assumes that any cases arising from the enactment of this bill, for which the Indigent Defense Fund may be liable, will in the first instance, be handled by the public defender or a contract attorney who accept these cases on a fixed fee basis of $250 per misdemeanor charged. If an assigned counsel attorney must be used, the hourly rate of $60 with a fee cap of $1,000 will apply. If a motion to exceed the fee cap is approved and/or “services other than counsel” are approved, these will also be chargeable to the Indigent Defense Fund. Any charge within the criminal justice system, committed by a juvenile, will be compensated within the flat fee contract system of $250 per case through disposition, plus $187.50 for each and every review hearing following disposition. Assigned counsel will be at the $60 per hour rate with a fee cap of $1,200. The fee cap may be waived upon motion filed with the court and approved in advance. Any case where a defendant has been found guilty may also result in appeals to either the Superior Court or to the Supreme Court which would have a cost implication for Indigent Defense expenditures made by the State. The Council is unable to predict the number of cases which may result from the passage of this bill, and are unable to determine the exact fiscal impact at this time.




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    The Association of Counties states to the extent individuals are prosecuted, the county may incur the cost of pre-trial detainment at the county department of corrections, as well as the cost of sentenced inmates under the new law. The average annual cost for counties to incarcerate inmates is $21,633.55. The Association states the total exposure to the counties would be dependent on the number of individuals convicted and sentenced under the new law, which cannot be determined at this time.

    The Department of Justice states this bill should have a negligible fiscal impact, if any, on their Department and any costs can be absorbed within their current budget.


HB208 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type

Bill Text Revisions

HB208 Revision: 8689 Date: Jan. 21, 2010, midnight