Bill Text - HB512 (2016)

Prohibiting confiscation of firearms, ammunition, or firearms accessories during a state of emergency.


Revision: March 8, 2016, midnight

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HB 512 - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE

6Jan2016... 2379h

2015 SESSION

\t15-0689

\t04/01

 

HOUSE BILL\t\t512

 

AN ACT\tprohibiting the confiscation of firearms, ammunition, or firearms accessories during a state of emergency.

 

SPONSORS:\tRep. LeBreche, Belk 6; Rep. Baldasaro, Rock 5; Rep. Spillane, Rock 2; Rep. Burt, Hills 39; Rep. Balcom, Hills 21; Rep. Wheeler, Merr 3; Rep. Gallagher, Belk 4; Sen. Cataldo, Dist 6

 

COMMITTEE:\tCriminal Justice and Public Safety

 

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ANALYSIS

 

\tThis bill inserts specific penalty provisions to be applied against a law enforcement officer who confiscates a firearm, firearm accessory, ammunition, or ammunition component during a declared state of emergency.

 

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Explanation:\tMatter added to current law appears in bold italics.

\t\tMatter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

\t\tMatter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

 

6Jan2016... 2379h\t15-0689

\t04/01

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Fifteen

 

AN ACT\tprohibiting the confiscation of firearms, ammunition, or firearms accessories during a state of emergency.

 

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

 

\t1  Taking of Private Property; Compensation and Use.  Amend RSA 4:46, I-a to read as follows:

\t\tI-a.(a)  Under no circumstances shall this section be construed to authorize the taking, confiscation, or seizure of firearms, firearms accessories, ammunition, or ammunition components.

\t\t\t(b)  In addition to the remedies set forth in paragraphs III and IV, an individual who has any firearm, firearm accessory, ammunition, or ammunition components confiscated in violation of this paragraph may bring a civil action in a court having the appropriate jurisdiction:

\t\t\t\t(1)  For damages, in the maximum amount of $10,000, against a person who violates this paragraph;

\t\t\t\t(2)  For a civil penalty, in the amount of $5,000 per violation, against a person who violates this paragraph; and

\t\t\t\t(3)  For return of the confiscated firearm, firearm accessories, ammunition, or ammunition components.

\t\t\t(c)(1)  A law enforcement officer shall not be subject to disciplinary action for refusing to confiscate a firearm, firearm accessory, ammunition, or ammunition component under this section if:

\t\t\t\t(2)  Ordered or directed to do so by a superior officer; and

\t\t\t\t(3)  By obeying the order or direction, the law enforcement officer would be committing a violation of this section.

\t\t\t(d)  Disciplinary action may include:

\t\t\t\t(1)  Dismissal, suspension, or demotion;

\t\t\t\t(2)  Loss of or decrease in benefits, pay, privileges, or conditions of employment; and

\t\t\t\t(3)  Any type of written or electronic indication, permanent or temporary, on the officer’s personnel record of the officer’s refusal to obey the unlawful order.

\t\t\t(e)(1)  If a law enforcement officer commits a violation of this paragraph, the officer’s liability in an action brought under this paragraph shall be limited to 5 percent of the damages and civil penalty allowed under this paragraph if the officer can show by clear and convincing evidence that the officer was obeying a direct and unlawful order from a superior officer or authority.

\t\t\t\t(2)  The court shall assess the balance of the damages and civil penalty, the remaining 95 percent, against the superior officer or authority who ordered or directed the confiscation in violation of this paragraph.

\t\t\t(f)  For the purposes of this paragraph, “law enforcement officer” includes, but is not limited to, state, local, and county officials, federal agents, members of the National Guard, members of the United States Armed Forces, private security persons, United Nations troops, and United Nations Armed Forces.

\t2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

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