Joining 11 other states in the Union, today the New Hampshire Governor signed a bill into law allowing for the concealed carry of weapons without a permit. Known as ‘Constitutional Carry’ the law allows both residents and non-residents to carry unless otherwise prohibited by law.
Previously, a concealed weapons permit was required and was approved by the Chief of Police of a residents town or city.
For those readers who are concerned that this story is too political in nature for TFB – fear not. News is news and no partisan analysis will be provided.
CONCORD – With the stroke of a pen, Gov. Chris Sununu will make it easier for many Granite Staters to carry concealed weapons.
The governor is scheduled to sign into law Wednesday morning a measure repeals the need for a permit or license to carry a concealed handgun.
The bill passed the GOP dominated state Senate in a 13-10 party line vote last month. Earlier this month, by a two-to-one margin, the measure easily sailed through the Republican controlled state House of Representatives.
Similar bills passed the GOP dominated state Senate and state House of Representatives the past two years, but were both vetoed by then-Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan. Her predecessor in the Corner Office, fellow Democratic Gov. John Lynch, vetoed similar measures in 2006 and 2011.
But Sununu, the first Republican governor in New Hampshire in a dozen years, has repeatedly said he’ll sign the bill into law.
Last month, following the measure’s passage in the state Senate, Sununu wrote “I am pleased that the State Senate today voted to advance common sense legislation in support of a citizen’s fundamental right to carry a firearm, joining neighboring states throughout the region and across the country.”
Current law gives local police chiefs the right to determine if a person’s “suitable” to carry a concealed weapon.
Supporters of the bill, known officially as SB12, pointed to the neighboring states of Vermont and Maine, which don’t require permits to carry concealed handguns.
In arguing in favor of the bill earlier this month, state House Majority Leader Dick Hinch argued the measure “is a reasonable and long overdue measure that provides clarity, will enhance freedom for our responsible firearms community. And will be an overall deterrent to crime.”
“This is a commonsense legislation that allows people to protect themselves and their loved ones by exercising the second amendment rights,” Hinch added.
Supporters of the measure call it ‘constitutional carry,’ and Hinch said “law abiding gun owners deserve their rights to be fully upheld without the existing state law creating unnecessary barriers.
Today, in a private signing ceremony, Governor Chris Sununu signed Senate Bill 12 into law. Similar legislation had been vetoed by former Governor Maggie Hassan for two years in a row, but thanks to your active involvement, law-abiding gun owners will now be able to carry their firearms without a required permit in the state of New Hampshire! This law goes into effect immediately. Please take the time to thank your state legislators for passing this important legislation and Governor Sununu for signing it into law.
Sponsored by Senator Jeb Bradley (R-3), SB 12 will repeal the license requirement to carry a concealed pistol or revolver, unless a person is otherwise prohibited. For those who choose to obtain licenses, SB 12 will also increase the length of time in which a license is valid from four years to five years.
In New Hampshire, existing state law recognizes the right of any citizen who can legally own and possess a firearm to carry it openly, either loaded or unloaded, anywhere in the state not prohibited by law. However, if a firearm becomes covered by a coat or if a woman prefers to carry a firearm for protection in her purse, he or she would need a concealed carry handgun license. The new law will extend permitless open carry to permitless concealed carry, allowing law-abiding gun owners to protect themselves and their loved ones in the manner that best suits their needs.