CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire House lawmakers are hearing contrasting views on whether a bill allowing local communities to ban guns in their schools would actually make students safe.

The hearings Wednesday focused on bills that would allow local communities to create safe school zones and then ban firearms from those zones.

Similar efforts were rejected last year but supporters are more hopeful this year that gun legislation can be passed now that Democrats control both chambers. Several other bills are set to get hearings later in the day, including one that would require background checks for commercial gun sales.

Supporters argue the zones are one way to protect students from gun violence and ensure a safe learning environment while opponents contend the measures would only make these schools a target for criminals.

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