On April 29 New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan pledged to veto Senate Bill 116–legislation to repeal the requirement for a concealed carry permit in that state.
Her pledge to veto came the very day on which Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was delivering “hundreds of postcards” urging her to veto.
According to the Union Leader, Hassan likes her state’s gun laws the way they are. She said her state has a strong “tradition of common-sense gun laws” focused on “ensuring the Second Amendment rights of our citizens while helping to keep the Granite State one of the safest states in the nation.”
She said she would veto SB 116 because the bill would remove “local law enforcement oversight” that currently exists for concealed carry permits.
Ironically, NH is an open carry state–a state in which gun owners can openly carry without a permit–and state GOP lawmakers simply wanted to remove the permit requirement across the board so that a citizen who legally carries a gun in the open could lawfully do so, even if he put on a coat which covered the gun.
Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-3rd Dist.) and senator Sharon Carson (R-14th Dist.) pointed this out when SB 116 was being considered by the senate in February. Carson said, “This bill recognizes that the simple act of putting on a coat should not require a permit.”
Senator Andy Sanborn (R-9th Dist.) agreed and pointed out that under current law, a citizen instantly “[goes] from being a law-abiding person to being a criminal” by putting on clothing that covers the gun.
A clear majority of state lawmakers agreed as well. SB 116 passed the state senate on February 12 by a vote of 14-9 and on April 29 it passed the house by a vote of 212-150.
As recently as Tuesday, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported that Governor Maggie Hassan (D) “had not said” she would veto Senate Bill 116 if it passed the house. But the paper also reported that “members of the NH Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America intended to deliver hundreds of postcards to Hassan urging her to veto the bill if it passes the legislature.”
It passed and Hassan says she will veto.
Hassan did not mention that criminals already carry concealed guns without a permit. Nor did she explain how a Second Amendment right that can be exercised openly without a permit suddenly requires a permit if one’s jacket or other clothing covers a pistol that was previously visible.
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