New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoed a constitutional carry bill Monday that would have allowed law-abiding citizens to carry concealed without having to obtain a permit.
Though Senate Bill 116 cleared the state House by a 212-150 vote and the Senate by a 14-9 vote earlier this year, Hassan intimated that the existing concealed carry issuing process wasn’t broke so why bother fixing it.
“New Hampshire’s current concealed carry permitting law has worked well for nearly a century — safeguarding the Second Amendment rights of our citizens while helping to keep the Granite State one of the safest states in the nation,” Hassan said.
“Our concealed weapons permitting system gives an important oversight role to local law enforcement, while allowing for appeals through appropriate channels,” she added.
The veto was supported by the New Hampshire chapter of Moms Demand Action, which rallied against the bill with financial assistance from former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“Governor Hassan heeded the call of moms across the state and stood up for the safety of all Granite Staters,” said New Hampshire leader, Amy Moore. “Governor Hassan’s decision to veto SB 116 will keep our state’s common-sense concealed carry permitting system in place, which will continue to protect us all.”
However, the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action argued that the bill itself was common sense, particularly because it would just mirror the permit-less standard with respect to open carry.
“This was a common sense bill that would have protected law-abiding gun owners from inadvertently breaking the law,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director for NRA-ILA. “Since lawful gun owners in New Hampshire can already carry firearms openly without a permit, they should not become criminals just because they put on a jacket or place their firearm in a purse or briefcase.”
“Governor Hassan’s veto sends a clear message that she is listening to billionaire gun-control activist Michael Bloomberg over New Hampshire voters,” continued Cox. “On behalf of the NRA’s five-million members, I am disappointed Governor Hassan has chosen to disrespect the constitutional rights of her constituents.”
The fight for permit-less concealed carry may not yet be over as pro-gun lawmakers have already suggested that they would try to override the governor’s veto. .
“House Republicans support laws that uphold our citizens’ constitutional rights, and will support overriding the governor’s veto,” House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan (R-Brookline) told the New Hampshire Union Leader.