HB 1511-FN –AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 1511-FN
I. Removes the prohibition on convicted felons possessing certain non-firearm weapons for self-defense.
II. Allows possession of black powder weapons by convicted felons.
III. Reduces the offense from a felony to a misdemeanor for a convicted felon who completes and signs an application for purchase of a firearm.
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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twelve
AN ACT relative to felons possessing firearms.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 Pistols and Revolvers; Definition. Amend RSA 159:1 to read as follows:
159:1 Definition. Pistol or revolver, as used herein, means any firearm with barrel less than 16 inches in length. It does not include antique pistols, gun canes, black powder firearms, or revolvers. An antique pistol, gun cane, black powder firearm, or revolver, for the purposes of this chapter, means any pistol, gun cane, black powder firearm, or revolver utilizing an early type of ignition, including, but not limited to, flintlocks, wheel locks, matchlocks, black powder, percussions and pin-fire, but no pistol, gun cane, black powder firearm, or revolver which utilizes readily available center fire or rim-fire cartridges which are in common, current use shall be deemed to be an antique pistol, gun cane, black powder firearm, or revolver. Nothing in this section shall prevent antique pistols, gun canes, black powder firearms, or revolvers from being owned or transferred by museums, antique or arms collectors, or licensed gun dealers at auctions, gun shows, or private premises provided such ownership or transfer does not conflict with federal statutes.
2 Pistols and Revolvers; Convicted Felons. Amend RSA 159:3, I and I-a to read as follows:
I. A person is guilty of a class B felony if he or she:
(a) Owns or has in his or her possession or under his or her control, a pistol, revolver, or other firearm, [
or slungshot, metallic knuckles, billies, stiletto, switchblade knife, sword cane, pistol cane, blackjack, dagger, dirk-knife, or other deadly weapon as defined in RSA 625:11, V]; and
(b) Has been convicted in either a state or federal court in this or any other state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the United States of[
: (1)] a felony against the person or property of another[ ; or (2) A felony under RSA 318-B; or (3) A felony violation of the laws of any other state, the District of Columbia, the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or any territory or possession of the United States relating to controlled drugs as defined in RSA 318-B].
I-a. A person is guilty of a [
class B felony] misdemeanor if such person completes and signs an application for purchase of a firearm and the person is a convicted felon under the provisions of paragraph I.
3 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2013.
HB 1511-FN - FISCAL NOTE
AN ACT relative to felons possessing firearms.
The Judicial Branch, the Judicial Council, the Department of Corrections, and the New Hampshire Association of Counties state this bill may decrease state and county expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2013 and each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on local expenditures, or state, county, and local revenue.
The Judicial Branch states this bill decriminalizes certain weapons offenses by convicted felons by changing the penalty from a class B felony to a misdemeanor. The Branch has no information to estimate how many felony charges would not be brought as a result of the changes contained in the bill or if the misdemeanor charge will be treated as a class A misdemeanor to determine an exact decrease in expenditures. The Branch is able to provide the cost of a class B felony, which is treated as an average routine criminal case. An average routine criminal case will cost $389.84 in FY 2013, and $401.48 in FY 2014 and each year thereafter based on case weight information from the last needs assessment completed in 2005. A misdemeanor can be either class A or class B, with the presumption that it will be a class B misdemeanor. The Branch states a class A misdemeanor will cost $59.11 per case in FY 2013, and $61.31 per case in FY 2014 and each year thereafter, and a class B misdemeanor will cost $43.19 per case in FY 2013, and $44.54 per case in FY 2014 and each year thereafter based on case weight information from the last needs assessment completed in 2005.
The Judicial Council states this bill will result in an indeterminable decrease in general fund expenditures. The Council states to the extent an unspecified misdemeanor results in a misdemeanor offense where the right to counsel exists this bill may still have costs, however the costs would be a decrease from a felony to either no cost or the cost for a misdemeanor. The Council states if an individual is found to be indigent, the flat fee of $275 per misdemeanor and $756.24 per felony is charged by a public defender or contract attorney. If an assigned counsel attorney is used the fee is $60 per hour with a cap of $1,400 for a misdemeanor charge and $4,100 for a felony charge. The Council also states additional costs could be incurred if an appeal is filed.