Guns and other deadly weapons are once again banned on the House floor in New Hampshire.
Rules on allowing guns in Representatives Hall have changed over the last decade according to which party holds a majority. Democrats who won back control in November started the first session of 2019 by restoring the ban Wednesday.
Supporters argued it was a matter of public safety, particularly given that school children frequently visit the chamber. Opponents cited an increase in threats of violence against elected officials and what several called their God-given right to protect themselves.
House Republican Leader Richard Hinch issued a statement saying he was "deeply disappointed" with the vote.
"There have been several instances where members of this body have been threatened with physical violence against them or their families," Hinch said. "This amendment discourages and deters members from possessing a firearm while traveling to and from the State House and their vehicle. In our capacity as identifiable public officials in an environment of heightened political rhetoric, we are at greater risk for violence"
Gun violence prevention advocates, meanwhile, applauded the vote.
"Constituents and school children have a right to feel safe when they visit the State House," said Tracy Hahn-Burkett, a mother and Bow resident. "This vote represents the opinions of the majority of constituents and responsible gun owners in our community."
About 50 opponents of the ban gathered outside the Statehouse before the vote. One man wearing a tri-corner hat and gun on each hip carried a sign that said "Keep Calm and Carry" and "Ban Idiots, Not Guns."