Saturday, January 31, 2015

NH: Constitutional Carry Introduced

Constitutional carry has been introduced in New Hampshire by Jeb Bradley(r).  David Boutin and J.R. Hoell are cosponsors.   The bill number is SB116, and is being followed at the site.  Here is the analysis if the bill:
This bill:
I. Increases the length of time for which a license to carry a pistol or revolver is valid.
II. Allows a person to carry a loaded, concealed pistol or revolver without a license unless such person is otherwise prohibited by New Hampshire statute.
III. Requires the director of the division of state police to negotiate and enter into agreements with other jurisdictions to recognize in those jurisdictions the validity of the license to carry issued in this state.
IV. Repeals the requirement to obtain a license to carry a concealed pistol or revolver.
In 2011, constitutional carry, in the form of HB330, passed the house 244 to 109.   Then the NRA representative started bad mouthing the bill.   It was put on hold.  The weaker NRA bill also was put on hold.  Neither passed.   From
 John Hohenwarter, the NRA representative, worked hard to cause HB330 to be held.  The main reason is he has a four page amendment (the different version) he does not want to debate in public.  He has told Bob Clegg, the President of Pro-Gun New Hampshire (and former NH Senate Majority Leader), that NH is one of those states too stupid to deal with its own legislation, and has stated he will continue to interfere politically until NH accepts his amendment and does so without public hearings in the House or the Senate. Mr. Clegg intends on meeting him head on all year until the bill is released.  As a life member of NRA he also intends on speaking out against NRA's spokesperson, because if NH caves in to this kind of treatment it won't be long before every representative of NRA is as anti-constitution-carry as John Hohenwarter.
This is an excerpt of the defense of the actions in New Hampshire in 2011 by the NRA-ILA:

Unfortunately, H.B. 330, while well-intentioned, was poorly drafted. In its current form, the bill falls short of good firearms policy. Changes and clarifications are necessary to not only strengthen its provisions, but also to prevent serious, unintended legal consequences.

As passed in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, H.B. 330 would create legitimate concerns about the carrying of concealed loaded handguns in public by minors. While the bill would not protect the carrying of firearms by minors, it would not actually prohibit it either. This is a key distinction, as under current law, minors are essentially prohibited from carrying concealed loaded handguns in public by the licensing requirement, which would be repealed if H.B. 330 were enacted.

Even more problematic, H.B. 330 would preempt prosecution for the carrying of a firearm in any situation that is not specifically excluded in the bill itself. This includes such instances as:
A search of NRA field representatives shows Brian Smith as the field rep for Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire at this time.

I would have thought the best strategy would have been to pass it, even if some parts might be questionable.  They could always be fixed later.   There is a momentum to a bill's passage, and it appears that the NRA rep managed to stop the momentum cold.   This year, New Hampshire has another Democrat Governor, Maggie Hassan, who is careful not to mention that she is a long term committed Democrat in her Governor's web site.

Constitutional carry has expanded to five or six states, depending on how you count.  Some count Montana, others do not.   Several states have passed a bill, some have been vetoed by hostile governors.

Constitutional carry in New Hampshire seemed like a shoo-in, even past a governor's veto, in 2011.  It will be interesting to see what happens this year.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

I can't believe that the NRA would block a bill the allow Constitutional Carry! "Fears" that minors would be permitted to carry concealed are a ridiculous reason to oppose constitutional carry. If the NRA starts objecting to the Constitutional carry bill in my state, I may just have to give up my NRA membership.

Wireless.Phil said...

Double speak.

Doesn't #2 cancel out #1?

Dean Weingarten said...

Number II. does not cancel out number I. because the bill does not eliminate the permit system.

It just allows people to carry without the permit. The permit is still there for people who wish to have it for reciprocity with other states.