New Hampshire lawmaker files bill to legalize firearm brandishing.

A state lawmaker has filed a bill to explicitly permit…

A state lawmaker has filed a bill to explicitly permit residents to ward off trespassers by exhibiting a firearm.

“We want to make it very clear to the courts that protecting our property is an absolute right,” said state Rep. Betsey Patten, R-Moultonborough, who filed the bill at the Statehouse Monday while group outside the Capitol protested the imprisonment of a Moultonborough resident for criminal threatening for brandishing a firearm when a woman trespassed on his property.

Patten acknowledged that if the bill were to become law it would not help Ward Bird who is serving a three- to six-year sentenced in State Prison.

In an nine-page opinion authored by Associate Justice Gary Hicks the New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld Ward’s conviction late last month ruling that, “a rational juror could have found that the defendant’s belief that it was necessary to wave his pistol to terminate (the victim’s) trespass was not objectively reasonable.”

“Considering the evidence and all inference to be drawn from it in the light most favorable to the state, a rational juror readily could have found that the defendant’s actions of waving and pointed a gun toward the victim, while yelling “get the f¿ of my property,” constituted felony criminal threatening,” the Supreme Court ruled.

Bird’s supporters claim he never leveled the gun at the woman, but rather took it out of back holster and checked it to assure the safety was on.

Source: Bea Lewis for

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  • Monadnock

    To respond to Col RJ INgold: No, NH does not have the Castle Doctrine …unfortunately. Kelly Ayotte the former AG of NH (2004-2009) did not support the Doctrine, so I did not support her campaign for Senator this last fall. She won running as a Republican …succeeding Judd Gregg. While I’m pleased that a (generally) pro-firearms rights conservative won the seat, her refusal to support the Doctrine was a disqualifier in my eyes.

  • Does NH have the Castle Doctrine? If a display of lethal force is used as a warning to deter an attacker or a tresspasser, WHY WOULD IT BE CALLED BRANDISHING? CHL holders who travel must be familiar with the laws regarding the use of lethal force in each specific state they may enter.