Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan has promised to veto House Bill 582 that has been passed by both the State’s House and Senate legislative bodies along party lines and sent to the Governor for signature on April 27, 2016.
The proposed measure would allow a person to carry a loaded, concealed pistol or revolver without a license, provide such person is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing a firearm. Additionally, it would also repeal the requirement to obtain a license to carry a concealed pistol or revolver. Currently an individual can carry a loaded weapon that is visible, but must have a license if they want to carry it concealed.
The supporters of HB 582 point out that the measure keeps the state’s current concealed carry permit system that has been in place since 1923. However, it makes clear that the fact those permits exist does not prohibit unlicensed transport or carry of a concealed pistol or revolver in a car or on one’s person if the carrier is an adult legally able to possess a firearm. Retaining the option of issuing permits would allow state residents to carry while traveling to other parts of the country that honor New Hampshire’s current licenses.
William Hinkle, Hassan’s communications director, has said the Governor does not believe there is a need to change the existing permitting laws in New Hampshire. Chances are very good that Gov. Hassan will follow through on her promise as she vetoed an almost identical bill that came before her last year.
It does not appear that New Hampshire will be joining the growing number of “Constitutional” or permitless carry states anytime soon. The only hope would be if the legislators could rally enough support to override the Governor’s veto, should that occur.