EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

January 17, 2013

N.H. residents react to gun-control proposal

Gun shop manager John Cavaretta just shook his head yesterday when he heard about the president’s gun control proposals.

“This is just a knee-jerk reaction,” he said. “These are all just meaningless buzzwords.”

Obama proposed stricter gun laws, which would ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, as well as close all criminal background check loopholes.

The proposal comes after 26 people were killed by former Kingston resident Adam Lanza last month in Newtown, Conn.

“I support the removal of military-style weapons,” said Rep. Lisa Whittemore, D-Londonderry. “How is it that we as people cannot understand that weapons of war do not belong in our stores or in our streets or in our community? Weapons of war are not for hunting nor can they be reasonably justified as personal protection.”

Rep. Al Baldasaro, R-Londonderry, said national leaders should focus on taking guns away, but instead on harsher punishments for criminals.

“I disagree with the president 100 percent,” Baldasaro said. “The New Hampshire Constitution says we have the right to protect ourselves, others and our property. He is not a king; we need to be going after criminals.”

The president wants to close loopholes which allow felons to obtain guns. He estimated 40 percent of all gun sales are made by private sellers, who are exempt from running background checks.

“The background checks we have in place are working,” Baldasaro said. “We don’t have the killings per capita like other states. States like California have much more restrictive gun laws and they have a larger amount of murders.”

Cavaretta, who manages Chester Arms in Derry, said since the massacre in Newtown, he has seen a significant increase in gun sales. He said his shop is required to check with either state police or the FBI every time they sell a gun.

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