By John Suayan | The Center Square
A Republican state representative recently scored a legal victory in his fight against a ban on firearms at the Statehouse in Concord.
The New Hampshire Supreme Court sided with Rep. John Burt, R-Goffstown, but stopped short of overturning the ban.
New Hampshire Public Radio reported that Burt filed a lawsuit in response to the ban, calling it an infringement of his Second Amendment rights. In 2018, the majority Democratic New Hampshire House of Representatives enacted a rule forbidding weapons inside Representatives Hall.
While a lower court tossed Burt’s complaint, the four-member Supreme Court opined that the judicial branch does not have a role to play when internal rules raise constitutional questions.
The case has been remanded to the same lower court.
Burt told WMUR he was excited about the ruling.
“It’s a huge win for the Second Amendment, in my eyes,” the lawmaker told the station.
Dan Hynes, Burt’s attorney, said the state Supreme Court did what the lower court refused to do.
“They’re sending it back to Superior Court, saying, ‘You have to hear this case,’” Hynes told WMUR. “It involves the Constitution, and they said the Legislature does not have the authority to violate the Constitution.”
newBurt and Hynes feel good about the ruling but are unsure what the lower court has in store.
“If we start allowing any state to start dictating what they can do to the Constitution over a 50-year period, a 25-year period, we will start losing the Constitution,” Burt told WMUR.
Weapons in the Statehouse has been a much-debated issue for at least half a decade.
The Bangor Daily News reported that depending on which party controlled the House, firearms were either allowed or forbidden.
When Burt and his partymates held the majority, it was legal to walk into Representatives Hall with a firearm.