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Steven Cunningham State Representative
Sullivan District 2


March 28, 2010

Steven Cunningham represents the towns of Springfield, Croydon, Newport, Goshen and Washington in the NH House of Representatives. 

Representative Cunningham is a member of the House Committee on Municipal and County Government.


A committee of legislators has decided that the public as well as their fellow legislators are not to be trusted with a gun. So they passed a rule that no one may possess a firearm in the State House and Legislative Office Building.

New Hampshire has a long tradition of trusting its law-abiding citizens with the right to carry a concealed firearm everywhere in the state but a courtroom. I disagree with even the latter law, but can appreciate that if someone may be going to jail for life, feelings of family members may run high. Otherwise, we are all constantly surrounded by good citizens who carry a pistol for self-protection. And if you are looking at the men, I'll educate you. I am an NRA certified pistol instructor. It is the middle-aged and older women you better avoid mugging. Yep, in my town it’s a bunch of pistol packing mamas. 

This new rule passed in the State House is probably unconstitutional, but would be expensive to fight in the courts. So, a bill was introduced to specifically make such a rule illegal, leading to a flamboyant fight (words only, as has been our tradition) on the floor of the state House of Representatives. This is where things got interesting.

First, a little history. I am new to the legislature, but am told by the experienced that there has never been violence in the state House of Representatives beyond some cheering or yelling. As those opposed to the new bill testified to the rest of us, I was shocked…. shocked, I say. State representative after state representative stated that they so feared their constituents and so lacked trust in them that they were in terror for their very lives in the state house. They stated that the risk of an armed taxpayer shooting them as they sat was so high, they could take no chances and had to bar all citizens from carrying a firearm. Seriously. Since I am a former army officer, I realize that there is a certain risk associated with certain jobs. I have also held positions of responsibility and have had my life threatened more than once. I consider being a New Hampshire State Representative a low risk job compared to my past endeavors. Perhaps I have too much faith in my fellow man. I know we have residents with a propensity for violence. That is why having an unknown number of citizens carrying a concealed firearm is so comforting. The bad guys know they are there and if they start something someone else is likely to finish it. Except in the state house.

Now the good news. If you are carrying your pistol and don't notice on the door to the state house the tiny little picture of a pistol with a line through it, remember it is just a rule, not a law. If our unarmed security guards do notice you are carrying a pistol, they will ask you to leave. If you don't, you are then trespassing and they will call a state police trooper to escort you out. I hope a few of you do forget to leave your pistol at home. I'll feel much safer. I would also suggest that to ease the minds of those representatives who fear their constituents, you vote them out of office in November.

Steven Cunningham, O.D.
Representative, Sullivan County District  2

Telephone:  603-271-3317


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