Why Isn’t Gun Safety Required for New Hampshire Lawmakers Who Carry?

We heard about this incident recently involving Representative Carolyn Halstead of New Hampshire. The Associated Press reported that she was “mortified” after her gun dropped to the floor of the Statehouse.

While this wouldn’t normally be news, Rep. Halstead was on her way to deliver a speech about her support for full-day kindergarten, so there happened to be a lot of children near her at the time the gun fell to the floor.

Let me stress…the gun’s safety was on and it did not fire and no one was hurt. Halstead is licensed to carry a concealed weapon. She said that the gun fell off her waistband as she rushed to her seat because her backpack caught on it as she removed the backpack. After that, she quickly put the gun in her bag. Former Republican Rep. Kyle Tasker, also of New Hampshire, dropped his gun during a 2012 committee hearing. It’s legal to carry guns on the Statehouse grounds.

The incident involving Halstead took place on January 12. On January 26, a proposal to require firearm safety training for New Hampshire lawmakers wishing to carry guns on the House floor was defeated. Democratic Minority Leader Steve Shurtleff proposed the rule because of the Halstead incident. The new rule would have required them to take a speaker-approved gun safety course before being allowed to carry concealed weapons.


We call attention to this for one reason: practice taking on and off your clothing, jackets, backpacks and whatever else you’re wearing WHILE you have your gun in your everyday carry holster. If it catches, snags, prints, falls out or whatever, get a new holster. Yes, we definitely understand that accidents happen. But, we believe that if you are aware of how your holster behaves when you have cumbersome clothes on like a backpack or jacket, you will  be less likely to have an incident like this happen to you.

We believe this practicing is especially important when the seasons change and your clothing changes, as well as when you get a new piece of gear such as a new jacket or new backpack. It’s really all about muscle memory. After wearing a heavy snow jacket and scarf, say, then you stop wearing that and maybe start carrying a different case to work because the weather s nicer, that’s when you’re more likely to have a gear issue because the feeling and weight is different.


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