On Thursday, the New Hampshire Senate concurred with the House and passed legislation to eliminate the requirement for a license to carry concealed in the Granite State.
The legislation — HB 582 — would simply treat concealed carry like open carry, which is already legal to do without a permit in New Hampshire. In short, HB 582 removes the requirement that citizens pay the state for a concealed permit before exercising their Second Amendment rights.
According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Senate vote was 14-10, in favor of repealing the permit requirement. Sen. Gary Daniels (R-Milford) said, “This is our opportunity to ensure the 2nd Amendment rights of our constituents are upheld.”
But Democrats argued for a continuation of the current structure of allowing open carry without a permit while requiring a permit for concealed carry. Sen. Lou D’Allesandro (D-Manchester) accused Republicans of simply pursuing change for the sake of change — because the GOP controls the Senate — instead of pursuing change because it is actually required.
Similar legislation passed the New Hampshire House and Senate last year, and Governor Maggie Hassan (D) vetoed it. In so doing, she released a statement citing concerns about “allowing individuals to carry concealed guns without a license.”
Again — New Hampshire law already recognizes the right of citizens to carry a gun openly without a license. And Republican lawmakers argue that that the citizen who carries a handgun openly — and legally — without a permit commits a criminal act when his jacket or sweatshirt covers the gun and makes it concealed. Removing the permit requirement for concealed carry removes the criminalization of law-abiding citizens.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.