By NANCY WEST, InDepthNH.org
CONCORD – The New Hampshire Firearms Coalition blasted the Democratic Party for filing an election law complaint against the banner with Nazi swastikas they brought to a legislative committee meeting on the Red Flag bill.
Former state Rep. JR Hoell, who is the Coalition’s secretary, said the complaint was a publicity stunt on the part of Democrats.
“This is a frivolous complaint designed to catch attention on the day Vice President Pence was visiting the State House,” Hoell said.
“There is no merit to the complaint and the Constitution is extremely clear in Part 1, Article 30 about freedom of speech.” He cited the following section:
30. [Freedom of Speech.] The freedom of deliberation, speech, and debate, in
either House of the Legislature, is so essential to the rights of the people,
that it cannot be the foundation of any action, complaint, or prosecution, in
any other Court or place whatsoever.
June 2, 1784
On Thursday, the New Hampshire Democratic Party filed an election law complaint against the Coalition saying the group refused to put its name and required disclaimer on the banner “that depict New Hampshire Democrats as Nazis.”
On Oct. 30, the NHFC brought a banner and poster with the faces of House and Senate Democrats next to swastikas and Nazi Germany flags into a New Hampshire House committee hearing, Democrats said.
The signs advocated against House Bill 687, Red Flag bill that Democrats say “allows Granite Staters or law enforcement to intervene if someone is at risk of hurting themselves or another person with a gun. The signs did not include the legally required political disclaimer.”
“The New Hampshire gun lobby made heinous signs calling our Democratic legislators Nazis, but they were too scared to own up to their hateful rhetoric and put their name on it,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “This is a new low for the gun lobby, and it’s also against the law.”