sb 116 moves to the House
Senators Birdsell (R-Windham, Hampstead and Derry) and Morse (Salem, Pelham, Atkinson & Plaistow) both voted for this bill, despite Senator Morse voting against a similar bill in 2004 that would have repealed the requirement for a license for concealed carry.
SB116 would not only repeal the requirement for a concealed carry license, whether on foot or in a vehicle. It would also lengthen the duration of a gun license from four years to five years. So, basically, we would be repealing the requirement of any license to carry, but keeping the process in place for those who use their NH license to gain reciprocity (and ease of carry) in other states which recognize NH's license (23 states as of Feb 2014).
The NH concealed carry license is essentially a "shall issue" versus a "may issue" state - the instances in which the designated authority can deny a concealed carry license are very limited. RSA 159:6 says the license is to be granted to "a suitable person" but the police have the burden to provide "clear and convincing" evidence to the contrary. The decision is not at the discretion of the local authority, but only based on what can be documented and proven.
NH's law has been in place for over 90 years. Currently you only need a license to carry a loaded pistol or revolver in a vehicle or to carry a loaded handgun concealed on your person. You may not have a loaded rifle or shotgun in a vehicle per the Fish and Game law RSA 207:7.
Repealing this requirement would not only remove these very limited precautions, but will reduce funds to both towns and the state. NH residents pay a fee of $10 which goes to the issuing body (ie: local police department). The Fiscal Note attached to SB116 says it is not possible to know how many permits are issued annually, so the impact is unknown. Of larger impact are the 9,800 licenses to out of state residents that are issued annually. The Fiscal Note predicts that at least 9,000 of these would likely not be needed, a loss of $900,000 annually - as well as the 800 licenses that are anticipated to continue to be applied for that would be in effect for an additional year so the $100 renewal fee will be delayed a year in terms of collections.
This bill is considered a 'Constitutional Carry" bill. The Second Amendment is below for your reference. The right of the people is not restricted in New Hampshire by our current law, it is licensed - providing a minimal check and balance on those who wish to carry concealed handguns or to carry loaded handguns in vehicles. Open carry is unrestricted. Unloaded handguns in vehicles are unrestricted. Guns do not need to be registered. Guns are very accessible for purchase in New Hampshire, especially between private parties. I have no doubt that a militia, well-regulated or otherwise, could be raised quite readily in our fair state.
SB116 is not needed in NH, would further diminish our limited general funds, and is not supported by the NH Association of the Chiefs of Police.
second amendment: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
A collection of perspectives, quotes, writings, tweets and clips that got me thinking - so I'm passing them along to you ~ Kristi - Windems Chair