NH Democrat Pushes to Allow EBT Recipients to Purchase Firearms with Aid

New Hampshire’s 6th District Representative Timothy Horrigan argued before the house on Wednesday against a prohibition on public assistance recipients purchasing firearms using their EBT cards.

The proposed SB203 expands the prohibited uses of EBT funds as listed in NHRSA 167:7-b to forbid EBT cards from being used to purchase, among other things, firearms.  Paragraph I-a of the legislation reads “[a]ny person who receives public assistance is prohibited from using an EBT card or cash obtained with an EBT card to gamble or to purchase tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets, firearms, or adult entertainment.

Horrigan, a Democrat elected in 2010, argued the following:

SB203 would restrict use of EBT cash benefits to purchase alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets, firearms, piercing/tattooing and/or adult entertainment. The firearms ban is a blatant violation of the second amendment. Cash benefit recipients presumably have the same rights as the rest of us to purchase guns for hunting, sport shooting or even self defense. Obviously, they don’t have much money to spend on that but they do have the right under the second amendment to do so. The inclusion of a firearms ban seems ironic, even to a liberal like myself, especially if you have the bill in front of you, if you click the list of sponsors many them are generally very pro second amendment.

(original video has been removed)

The Second Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  Whether you agree or disagree with EBT recipients using their aid to buy guns, tattoos, strippers or blackjack games, nothing about these restrictions on the use of taxpayer-funded public assistance program funds is a Second Amendment issue.  EBT cash benefit recipients have, and will continue to have, just as much right to keep and bear arms as anyone else.  The “terms and conditions” of New Hampshire’s EBT program is as much a Second Amendment issue as telling a guest in your home not to discuss certain topics while visiting is a First Amendment issue.


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