New Hampshire Goes Constitutional Carry!

(Photo: Concord Monitor)

Law-abiding citizens in New Hampshire no longer need a permit to carry a concealed firearm in public.

This week, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu signed SB12 into law, which made New Hampshire the 12th state to go Constitutional (or permitless) carry.

“SB 12 ensures New Hampshire citizens are guaranteed the fundamental right to carry a firearm in defense of themselves and their families, as prescribed by Article 2a of our state constitution,” said Gov. Chris Sununu in a statement.

“This common sense legislation aligns our concealed carry laws with that of our neighboring states of Vermont and Maine and states across the country,” Sununu continued. “This is about safety. This is about making sure that the laws on our books are keeping people safe while remaining true to the Live Free or Die spirit that makes New Hampshire the great state that it is.”

SB 12 was the first bill that Gov. Sununu signed since taking office this year.

Prior to the bill’s passage, New Hampshire was a may-issue state meaning that one would have to obtain a CLEO (chief law enforcement officer) signature as part of the issuing process. That CLEO would decide whether the applicant was “suitable” to carry a concealed firearm.

Many believed that this arbitrary standard for permitting created situations where applicants were unfairly denied licenses.

“We have seen substantial abuse of the current statutes by various police departments,” Rep. JR Hoell of (R-Dunbarton) told the Concord Monitor.

It should be noted that New Hampshire already allowed residents to carry openly without a permit or license, which one could argue that by virtue of that law it seems only logical to extend that to concealed firearms as well.

Given that it’s already illegal for criminals, drug dealers, domestic abusers, and other prohibited persons to carry firearms, the only people the old law had an effect on was law-abiding citizens.  They were the ones who didn’t carry concealed.  Criminals et al. do what they want anyhow.

Yet, not everyone agrees.  Naysayers and anti-gunners are always skeptical when state legislatures give freedom back to the people despite the fact that there is no evidence to suggest that expanding gun rights makes society more dangerous.

“The governor claims concealed carry is about ‘safety,’ but he is making it harder for law enforcement officials to keep track of guns that fall into the wrong hands,” Ray Buckley, the chairman of the state Democratic Party, said in a statement. “New Hampshire has imminent issues that need the Governor’s attention, but further relaxing the state’s notoriously lax gun laws is not one of them.”

Likewise, Portsmouth Police Commissioner Joseph Plaia wasn’t happy with the new law.

“This bill will eliminate the state’s longstanding permitting system and prevent local law enforcement from making important determinations that help keep guns out of dangerous hands,” said Plaia, who is also a member of Granite State Coalition for Common Sense, a gun-control advocacy group.

Momentum on the Constitutional carry front continues to build (I do believe my home state of Kentucky is one of several states currently considering a permitless carry bill).  As mentioned, it’s common sense.  Moreover, it’s more in-line with what the founders and framers intended when they drafted the 2A.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • DRAINO February 26, 2017, 10:35 am

    NH has changed a lot apparently…..for the good. My father was staying at a hotel while working at Seabrook. A man broke in to his room one night and commenced to beating him. My father had a pistol and could have shot the man but recognized his voice in the dark. After the police arrived they said my father would have been charged with murder if he had shot the man in self defense. And that they also could have arrested him for merely having the pistol(and NO, my father has NO criminal background). No other strange circumstances… just cut and dry. My point is, it’s good to see NH having come such a long way. Bravo, NH citizens!! Hope more stated follow your lead in this respect. Now let’s work on the open carry issue.

    AMERICANISM!!! NOT Globalism!!!!

  • John Dahlheimer February 25, 2017, 5:53 pm

    I lived in NH for some 44 years and had a Concealed Carry permit for most of these years, which had to be approved initially and upon regular renewal by the Chief of Police of the city/town one lived in. This didn’t cause me any problems, as I was a well known upstanding citizen. However, I can certainly see how this permit system could have been abused by a Police Chief of Marxist persuasions, or one that simply didn’t like an applicant for any number of personal reasons.
    I now live in NC, and again have a concealed carry license, which was only issued after a thorough back-round check, and after taking a gun-safety/firearm-laws course, which included demonstrating competency at a remotely located live-fire range (both at my expense). Again this didn’t cause me any problems, because I have a clean record, and am proficient in the use of firearms, having been in the Army Infantry where I qualified as “expert” with multiple weapons, I view this system as a reasonable one, just as I view requirements to know the laws regarding automobile operation, and demonstrating basic driving proficiency as reasonable, which also require some expenses.
    Some 13% of Americans account for almost half of all homicides (90% against their own race), and over half of all robberies/car-jacking, etc,; yet virtually none have a license to carry concealed, and most of their males have a criminal record by the age of twenty-three, which might prevent them from obtaining such a licence, if they ever bothered to apply for one.

  • Nameless February 24, 2017, 12:15 pm

    While, I understand you should be able to protect yourself and your family, you made a conscious decision to break the law and grow 20 pot plants in an area where it was illegal, knowing there could be significant consequences if you were caught. I agree that marijuana should be legal to grow and use for personal reasons and recreation, but I guess I just can’t feel bad when you chose to grow pot, got caught, and ended up becoming a felon.

    Some people take the risk of ignoring the law and hope not to get caught. Others choose not to break the law, but to protest the laws and try to get them changed legally. And, as mentioned, you can try to hire a lawyer to get your record expunged and gain your 2nd Amendment and voting rights back.

  • Big John February 24, 2017, 10:46 am

    “Live Free or Die”, now if we can get rid of same day registration for voting and stop the bus loads of flatlanders from rigging our elections and get all of the Liberals to move back to Mass., New York and CT before they ruin the state I will sleep much better at night.

    • Rick February 28, 2017, 9:43 am

      Now that would a great thing to happen!

  • Erik February 24, 2017, 7:26 am

    It’s to bad I can’t carry a gun anymore because I’m now a felon in NH because I grew like 20 marijuana plants in my house and now I don’t deserve to defend myself anymore. I had no previous criminal record

    • Sean Carberry February 24, 2017, 9:11 am

      Get a crossbow. Stop the dope

    • Cyrus February 24, 2017, 1:08 pm

      1. Don’t get into any further trouble
      2. Do good things in your community and get it documented
      3. Get as many letters of recommendation as you can attesting to your Good Character
      4. Hire an expungent Lawyer and get your record expunged.
      Problem Solved!

      • dwight e lovejoy February 24, 2017, 9:14 am

        How can you get something from 1971in another state expunged .Was supposed to be removed after one year probation and fine .

    • DRAINO February 26, 2017, 10:46 am

      See this?….*holding my hand up rubbing my thumb and fore finger together*….It’s the world smallest man playing ” my heart bleeds for you” on the violin. I have ZERO sympathy for you, Homey!! Do the felony crime, do the felony time….which includes the loss of right to own/posses a firearm. Apparently those 20 plants were more valuable to you than your 2A rights. A concept know often as “consequences of our actions”. You have been advised in your actions of recourse. But expect no sympathy here….at least not from me.

      AMERICANISM!!! NOT Globalism!!!!

  • MagnumOpUS February 24, 2017, 7:26 am

    Thank you, New Hampshire.
    “Make the Second Amendment Great Again! “

  • John Esposito February 24, 2017, 7:06 am

    It’s a great move for N H , it’s a Gret State that has made a big move in the right direction.

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