Republican New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu on Thursday sparred with “The View” co-hosts as they argued stricter gun laws and bans on AR-15s will stop mass shootings.
Co-host Sunny Hostin pressed the New Hampshire governor on passing lenient gun laws in his state, despite the surge in mass shootings the U.S. has seen in recent years. Sununu said he has the “safest state in the country,” arguing stricter gun laws are not the solution.
“As governor, you’ve loosened gun laws in your state and you hold an A-rating for the NRA,” Hostin began. “You told a friend of our show, Jen Psaki, recently, there’s no law you’re going to pass that is going to stop mass shootings. There’s no law you’re going to pass that’s just going to magically stop gun violence. However, there was a law that was passed. And that law was passed … in 1994, it was a federal assault weapons ban, and it cut gun violence — mass shootings — by 70%. And the minute it was reinstated, they went up. Why not put that law back in place?”
“No, no, no. Look, understand, we did not have the mass shootings in the early 90s that we have today,” Sununu said. “It is exponentially worse, right? So if your argument is ‘If we just have more gun bans, and more gun laws,’ Chicago would be the safest place in the country. Because they have the most restricted laws.”
Hostin argued the guns in Chicago are coming in from surrounding states with more lenient laws. The governor then criticized Democrats for doing “nothing” to stop mass shootings while they were in control of the White House and Congress. (RELATED: ‘The View’ Co-Hosts Argue Which Party Deserves Blame For School Shootings)
“They made a mistake,” Hostin agreed.
“They did nothing because they know — guys, I have the safest state in the country. You can talk about — the validity, the merits of a law are based on the results it gets. I have the safest state in the country. So why are we having the mass shootings? It’s not because people have access to guns. It’s because we’re not dealing with mental health; we don’t provide access to mental health with kids; when people are in crisis, they have nowhere to turn, they resort to violence [and] we don’t do the right things in terms of locking down our schools.”
Sununu then pushed back against the co-hosts about banning AR-15s. He argued Democrats did not take action because they “know” banning so-called assault weapons “is not the change” necessary to solve the number of mass shootings in the country. He vowed to not ban guns and to increase access to mental health services. Studies have shown active shooters act out of grievances, anger or depression rather than “impulse,” according to the Metrowest Health Foundation.
“What are you gonna do?” co-host Joy Behar asked.
“I’m not banning any guns. I’m gonna provide access to mental health, we’re gonna get at the core of the issue which is what spurs a lot of the violence,” he replied.
The audience then started to “boo” the governor, which co-host Whoopi Goldberg shut down.
Seventy-eight percent of mass shootings between 1982 and April 2023 were committed by handguns, according to data collected by Statista. The research company analyzed a total of 142 reported cases from that time period.