New Hampshire Dems ban firearms in chamber, pass harassment training requirements

New Hampshire's House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to ban firearms in the state House chamber and to require all lawmakers to undergo sexual harassment training, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.

The moves were two of the first actions taken by the House's new Democratic majority, according to the newspaper.

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The House voted 220-163 to approve the firearms ban. The ban has existed under past Democratic majorities but was changed in 2011 and again in 2015 by Republicans, according to the newspaper.

House Majority Leader Doug Ley of Jaffrey told the Union Leader said the ban would uphold public safety.

“State House security personnel are armed and trained to ensure the safety of our Legislature and the public. No one needs to bring their gun on the House floor any more than they need it in a courtroom or on an airplane,” he said.

Republicans in the chamber, however, opposed the ban, with Minority Leader Dick Hinch suggesting it was a violation of the Second Amendment.

“This amendment to House rules prohibits law-abiding citizens from exercising their constitutionally protected right, and it lacks the necessary detail in process and procedures for the storage of weapons,” Hinch said. 

New Hampshire's House of Representatives also voted 284-92 to require that all lawmakers take sexual harassment awareness training, the Union Leader reported.

That vote also received pushback from some Republicans, with Republican Jim Belanger saying that training should "absolutely not" be mandatory.

“I was elected by my constituents, not the Rules Committee,” he told the Union Leader. “Is there a need for training? Maybe so. I won’t dispute that. But should it be mandatory? Absolutely not. I will probably attend the training, but vote against the mandatory rule.”