N.H. Governor Chris Sununu addresses NRA annual leadership meeting

Gun Rights

CONCORD, N.H. — Governor Chris Sununu addressed remarks to the National Rifle Association’s annual leadership forum in Indianapolis on Friday, alongside former president Donald Trump and several 2024 Republican presidential hopefuls.

Sununu’s remarks came days after mass shootings in Louisville and Nashville. In New Hampshire, the threat of school shootings closed Portsmouth schools on Thursday and Rochester Middle School on Friday.

The event was put on by the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, the organization’s lobbying arm. Sununu and other speakers at the event offered remarks focused on consolidating Republican power ahead of the 2024 elections.

You Might Like

“I promise you with a new Republican Congress and a new Republican President, we will kick these liberal meddlers out of our gun stores and out of your lives,” former vice president Mike Pence told attendees.

Pence called for an end to the defund the police movement and advocated for government funding of armed resource officers in every public and private school in America. He also suggested that the government institutionalize people with mental health problems and accelerate federal death penalty for mass shooters “to ensure that those who engage in mass shootings face execution in months, not years.”

An ebullient Sununu called the event “absolutely awesome.” He quickly turned to the 2024 election and urged the party to do more to bring independent and young voters into the party in order to win, by moving away from “old school” campaign strategies and exerting more influence on voters.

“Just to talk about the politics I get nervous about 2024,” he said. “We don’t have those independents. If we don’t have those folks back on the team, those disenfranchise voters, it ain’t gonna happen for it. We can yell and scream all we want, but we want winners. We want winners for tomorrow.”

He touted his pro-gun record, like signing a constitutional carry policy into law and vetoing a red flag law, and said tragedies like mass shootings in school should be addressed through more attention to mental health, funding the police, school resource officers, and school hardening.

“If you see these tragedies, these mass shootings in school, it’s real. It’s at an unprecedented level,” he said. “And every time there’s a mass shooting, every time there’s a tragedy, what does the left do? They blame you. They blame politics.”

Democrats in New Hampshire blasted Sununu for participating in the event and for his record on gun policy.

“It is incomprehensible that Sununu would even consider speaking at this NRA event after the multiple horrific instances of gun violence across the country and the threats against schools right here in New Hampshire,” said Ray Buckley, chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. Buckley accused Sununu of “grotesquely using this forum as an opportunity to build his national profile and brag about how we gutted gun safety in New Hampshire.”

“Our governor has done nothing to protect Granite State students from gun violence,” said Jayanth Uppaluri, executive director of the Dartmouth College Democrats.

Former president Donald Trump was the final speaker of the evening at Friday’s event.

“In 2024, I will be your loyal friend and fearless champion once again,” he said. His comments were met with applause. It was the first time he spoke publicly since he was arrested and arraigned last week.

Amanda Gokee can be reached at amanda.gokee@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @amanda_gokee.

You Might Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *