If signed into law, New Hampshire will join ranks with the ‘Constitutional carry’ states of Vermont, Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming, and Arkansas having passed Senate Bill 118 (SB116) on FEB-12, “repealing the license requirement for carrying a concealed pistol or revolver”, and will be a win for 2nd Amendment advocates and all law abiding citizens of the state and elsewhere.
New Hampshire law already allows anyone (resident or non-resident) to openly carry a loaded firearm without a license, and although NH is a ‘shall issue’ state (for a concealed carry license), the changes made within SB116 will remove that requirement entirely.
Most New Hampshire state senators logically recognized the problem with the existing concealed carry law which essentially makes criminals out of anyone who is legally openly carrying a firearm while putting on a jacket (for example) – it gets cold in NH ;) .
Sponsor of the bill, Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R) of Wolfeboro said (logically) that the license requirement doesn’t deter criminals from criminal behavior. “In my view, it deters the law-abiding citizen who may need” a firearm, he said.
Bradley cited statistics from the FBI that he said placed New Hampshire as the sixth-safest state in the nation in terms of violent crime.
Bradley also said “…our radical and our dangerous neighbor to the west – Vermont, which has allowed concealed carry without a license for 200 years without a problem – is the safest state in the nation.” (grin)
He said the statistics show that violent crime rates have dropped in every state that relaxed concealed carry laws.
New Hampshire residents will still have the opportunity to obtain a concealed carry license in order to take advantage of reciprocity agreements with other states in the nation while traveling to those states.
The bill will also require the NH state police to proactively negotiate and enter into agreements with other state jurisdictions regarding reciprocity. New Hampshire already has reciprocity with 25 other states.
The senate bill will now go to the state house of representatives (currently a republican majority) for debate and a vote, and if passed it will go to the governors desk.
UPDATE: The current NH governor Maggie Hassan (a liberal dem) vetoed it. How this state has a ‘left’ governor is beyond me… (Boston liberal politics creeping northwards to the cities of southern NH)
Even if you happen to live in a ‘shall issue’ state, what is your opinion regarding the requirement to have a license to carry concealed? Does this requirement only affect law-abiding citizens?, or is it your opinion that criminals also apply for a legal license to carry a firearm and would therefore be ‘caught’ and denied? Do criminals obey laws? ;)