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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jim Rubens vows to protect gun owners at Hudson shop, continues Second Amendment tour all week

HUDSON – Jim Rubens doesn’t hunt or eat animals, but the former state senator – a vegetarian who owns a 9 mm Glock – said he’ll protect the ability of New Hampshire residents to go hunting with firearms if voters send him to Washington.

Rubens, a Republican hoping to unseat U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., traveled to Lee’s Gun Shop in Hudson Monday as part of a “2nd Amendment Protection Tour.” ...

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HUDSON – Jim Rubens doesn’t hunt or eat animals, but the former state senator – a vegetarian who owns a 9 mm Glock – said he’ll protect the ability of New Hampshire residents to go hunting with firearms if voters send him to Washington.

Rubens, a Republican hoping to unseat U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., traveled to Lee’s Gun Shop in Hudson Monday as part of a “2nd Amendment Protection Tour.”

The Hanover resident is one of three Republicans who has formally declared that they will run for Shaheen’s seat in November. Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown has launched a exploratory committee to enter the race.

Rubens said government threatens to encroach on a range of constitutional rights, including gun ownership. Rubens opposes a ban on assault weapons or high-capacity magazines, and he pledges to vote against gun registry efforts or ratification of any international agreement that infringes on the right to keep and bear arms.

Arms treaty vote

Rubens criticized Shaheen for her position on a United Nations arms treaty that he said would create “in essence, a global gun owner registry.”

Shaheen voted against a 2013 Senate amendment that prevents the U.S. from ratifying the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty.

The treaty aims to regulate the international arms trade and prevent illicit sales and transfers. It requires nations to deny exports if they will be used for terrorism, to commit genocide, to attack civilians or used in other war crimes.

Countries must regulate arms brokers under the treaty, but requiring them to “register” is optional. Recording details such as the quantity and model of weapons in a shipment and the end user is also optional.

But Rubens said in his view, the treaty would open the door for the United States to begin documenting information about citizens who buy guns abroad.

“This is highly offensive to defenders of the Second Amendment and firearms owners to be tracked in that way,” Rubens said. “Many aspects of the constitution are really quite sensitive in the voters’ minds right now because there’s so much happening that appears to many people, and to myself, to be extra-constitutional.”

Renewed focus on guns

According to campaign literature, Rubens earned an “A” rating form the National Rifle Association for his votes in the New Hampshire Legislature. His personal experience with firearms began when he started target-shooting as a teenager. Rubens said he purchased 9 mm handgun in the 1990s for home protection.

With renewed focus on gun laws in Washington, Rubens provided four recommendations to address gun violence and mass shootings of the kind that unfolded in Newtown, Conn. Among them is a call for the media to no longer report the names of people who perpetrate mass shootings or show their pictures. He also recommends increasing access to mental health services and encouraging school students to report when they suspect that peers are having problems.

Rubens also wants to give flexibility to school districts and owners of movie theaters, shopping malls and other public spaces to hire armed security personnel.

“We need to be looking at stuff that will actually reduce gun violence, and it’s not restricting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners that will stop this, because criminals and those wishing to perpetrate these acts will get guns,” he said.

Political history

Rubens served two terms in the New Hampshire Senate from 1994-98, where he chaired the Public Affairs and Education committees.

He authored, and helped pass, the state’s charter school law and also led efforts to pass SB 2, which allows residents to vote for town and school district spending in ballot form.

Rubens left Dartmouth College before completing a degree in chemistry, living in a commune for some time and starting a recycling center.

Later, he pursued political and business opportunities, and now is a well-known investor in the Granite State, founding and running numerous companies.

In 1998, he ran in the Republican primary for governor, losing the race by fewer than 3,000 votes.

In recent years, he has led the Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling.

The Brooklyn, N.Y., native supports abortion rights, favors same-sex marriages and proposes the “revenue-neutral” merging of a new federal tax on carbon emitted from polluters with comprehensive reform of the income tax code.

Others contenders

Rubens was one of the first Republicans to declare his candidacy against Shaheen, a first-term Democratic incumbent. Joining him in the GOP field are Franklin conservative activist Karen Testerman and former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith.

However, Rubens said in his view, two Republicans – himself and Brown, whom he referred to obliquely as “the gentleman from Massachusetts” – have stood out from the pack.

Brown has been hammered by some New Hampshire conservatives for his position on gun rights. Brown opposed a federal assault weapons ban for a decade, but reversed his position in late 2012 after failing to win re-election in Massachusetts. He also opposed a proposal that would let gun owners carry concealed weapons across state lines.

Rubens didn’t speak directly about Brown’s position on gun rights. When asked to compare himself to his opponents, Rubens said only “other people” don’t share his record of support for Second Amendment rights.

“People in New Hampshire are generally protective of the Second Amendment rights of citizens, law-abiding citizens,” he said.

Ruben’s Second Amendment tour will continue the rest of the week with stops at Sig Sauer Academy in Epping on Tuesday, Morse Sporting Goods in Hillsborough on Thursday, and Skip’s Gun Shop in Bristol on Friday.

Material from PolitiFact Texas staff writer Sue Owens, Telegraph staff writer Kevin Landrigan and Steve Peoples of The Associated Press was used in this report.
Jim Haddadin can be reached at 594-6589 or jhaddadin@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Haddadin on Twitter (@Telegraph_JimH).